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Rough Trade

Sleaford Mods Divide and Exit on 26 July

Sleaford Mods’ era-capturing, breakthrough album Divide and Exit is set to be reissued on 26 July to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Originally released in May 2014, not only did Andrew Fearn and Jason Williamson’s second ‘proper’ album (or sixth if you go back through the early CD-R efforts), capture the ‘death by a million vested interests’ malaise that was engulfing British society as contaminative politics oozed its core, but its union of strong words and minimal electronics saw a fresh voice articulated a much-needed rage, anger, hurt and hope.

Fully remastered, and with initial vinyl copies featuring a special new sleeve designed by the duo’s friend and collaborator British artist Cold War Steve, this new edition offers a chance to fully appreciate a band hitting their artistic stride while acknowledging (and commiserating) that its rebuttal of many of the dark forces that triggered its creation remains sadly relevant today.

“Where our previous album Austerity Dogs barked a directionless yet solid form of anger, Divide and Exit then carried this basic form of class consciousness,” says Williamson of the vision behind the record, both musically and lyrically. 

“After the release of Austerity Dogs we realised we had seemingly created a formula,” he adds. “Andrew just took the formula and ran with it and his music started to sound much more compact and urgent.” 

Released by Rough Trade Records, the new edition of Divide and Exit will feature new sleeve notes written by frontman Williamson, while The Wire’s 2014 interview with the band, conducted by incomparable Mark Fisher, will also be reprinted in full. A limited-edition flexi disc, with featuring the never previously released ‘Git Some Balls’ and artwork by Jason Williamson, will also be included with initial editions.

A CD version of the album featuring the Cold War Steve artwork will be available exclusively from Sleaford Mods and Rough Trade Records online shops, while the new cover will feature on a one-off t-shirt. Also available from the band’s web store, the t-shirt continues Sleaford Mods ongoing collaboration with War Child UK with all proceeds from its sale going to the charity.

Acclaimed for its direct electronics and lyrics that captured the taste of a land souring by the day, Divide and Exit proved to be a breakthrough for Sleaford Mods as it found approval with critics and a growing legion of fans alike.

“Like Happy Mondays, The Fall, and William Blake, Sleaford Mods are English visionary ranters, seeing the big picture reflected in the toilet bowl,” wrote comedian Stewart Lee on the album’s release

“Reporting from Poundland Britain’s frontlines, the perfect antidote to Clarkson-Hopkins comment culture… Sleaford Mods are the band of the moment. Massive by Christmas.”

Listening to it now, Divide and Exit is perhaps the most punk record we have done,” concludes Williamson, reflecting how Sleaford Mods felt on their own, covering fresh territory while making this music before inspiring a raft of post-punk-infused artists to follow their lead in the album’s aftermath.

“There wasn’t anyone in the country doing what we were doing at that point, it feels like it was 30 years ago, but it’s only been 10. Mad as fuck.”