Rap? No. Proto-punk? Perhaps. The best way to describe Austerity Dogs is an embittered stream-of-consciousness rant set to a shamelessly cheap background beat.
Hailing from Nottingham, UK, Sleaford Mods pull no punches—“when I said I didn’t like it, that’s because I really don’t”—frontman Jason Williamson is nothing if not straightforward, no? But the songs on Austerity Dogs are less about getting to know the narrator than they are understanding how he’s affected by the characters who surround him, from the perceived low-lifes to the awful store managers to the unabashedly privileged.
Williamson shouts (and in a thick, brash British accent at that) all of the lyrics. This gives the listener no choice but to shut up and take what he’s saying as fact. It’s kind of like sitting next to a cranky middle-aged man on the bus who decides he is going to tell you his life story, and all you can really do is sit there, nod, laugh, and maybe glean a little life advice from it.
Austerity Dogs is about as far from clean as you could possibly get, but the plethora of four-letter-words aren’t here for shock value—they’re part of the authentic vernacular.
“Brian Eno, what the fuck does he know?”
Truthfully, as an American, I’ll likely never be able to know what it’s like to live in the UK, much less be from there. So, I’ll just choose to imagine that it’s something like the eccentric, grimy world that Sleaford Mods describe it as.
Pick up Austerity Dogs now from your favorite local record store, courtesy of Deadly Beef Burger and Harbinger Sound.