Steptoe & Sons

Posted on October 27, 2010


Mumford & Sons are currently one of the biggest selling artists in the UK. Their success so far has been quite amazing, with double platinum album sales and a Mercury Prize nomination coming on the back of a solitary LP release. Founders of the modern London Folk scene, it would seem that Mumford & Sons are very much here to stay.

Their success becomes even more astonishing when one takes the time to consider their music. Quite frankly, it is pretentious, unbearable and downright nauseating. Their insistence on injecting artificial and exaggerated ‘passion’ into each track is absurd and their doggedness in plaguing their songs with an annoyingly euphoric banjo/guitar sound is beyond comprehension. Do they really believe that by hammering out some major chords whilst collectively screwing their chubby little faces up and closing their eyes in blissful glee we are all going to be impressed? Well, actually, it would seem that many people are which is very worrying indeed.

It should be said that my intense dislike for Mumford & Sons is not borne out of some intrinsic aversion to folk music. I genuinely love good folk music. And not just classic folk like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan but modern artists such as Laura Marling and Joanna Newsom. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Laura Marling is the best songwriter that this country has produced in many a year. The way she intricately constructs her songs and is true to her folk roots is an absolute joy to witness. She has managed to bring classic folk sounds in-line with modern music – a tremendous achievement in itself – with her association to Mumford & Sons the only blot on her copybook. What Mumford & Sons offer is a tasteless rehash of the worst kind of Irish folk music known to man and the way in which they have duped a large proportion of the UK, Australia and seemingly now the US too, is staggering. What’s more, they have achieved all this whilst being over-nourished and clad in waist coats that are far too small for them. One day the world will wake up and realise that flabby men in waist coats singing in faux-American accents is utterly ridiculous but until then it seems the rest of us will have to suffer at the hands of these talentless fools.

words by Rob Pollard

Photo by Jan Van den Bulck

Posted in: Music