Reminds us of The Fall, Can, Neu, Faust, Devo, Talking Heads, the Sugarcubes, the Comet is Coming, Moloko, Joy Division
Links to music/videos/interviews in Blue
My mate Mark, who lives in Brighton these days, recommended Snapped Ankles to me. He slightly put me off listening to them however, as he cited their key selling point as ‘they’re brilliant live’ which I took to mean as ‘they’re not so good on record’. Thankfully they’ve made two excellent albums and if you want to quickly get the ‘brilliant live’ reference, have a listen to, or watch the video of ‘I want my minutes back’ here.
The band were formed in 2011 in East London and they operate with no names, use loads of visual art in their performances and wear Ghillie suits on stage so you’ll never know what they really look like. Musically they are like Krautrock ravers, producing a pretty relentless groove that clearly takes in lots of musical influences but commonly channels the spirit of Mark E Smith, Devo, Neu, Faust and Can. Unlike those artists I can however sit through a whole album (or two) by Snapped Ankles, who clearly plan their music in that format so that the pacing and sounds don’t get too relentless or overbearing.
The band released their first EP True Ecology in 2012 but it wasn’t until 2017 that they released their second (which features the excellent ‘I want my minutes back’), with their first album ‘Come Play the Trees’ also released that year. Come Play the Trees is a worthy debut, lots of tribal rhythms working alongside the more obviously Krautrock tunes like Johnny Guitar Calling Gosta Berlin which also reminds me a bit of ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ – maybe that’s just me though.
A couple more EP’s followed last year before their second album was released in early 2019. ‘Stunning Luxury’ is less tribal, more manic disco, kicking off with Pestisound and then heading into Tailpipe, which manages to blend Moloko’s ‘Pure Pleasure Seeker’ with the Fall and Devo with a bit of ‘Age of Love’ thrown in. Latest single Letter from Hampi Mountain again sees that Fall influence coming through, but this time calling on Hexstatic. Rechargeable jumps into Joy Division territory before the pace of the album is slowed by the Neu-like ‘Three Steps to a Development’. Lead single Drink and Glide starts off like ‘A Forest’ by the Cure before jumping back into Devo and Faust, and the album concludes with ‘Dream and Formaldehyde’ It’s a dizzying but enjoyable ride.
The live experience I’m yet to sample, but I have got tickets for their gig at Village Underground in October, which forms part of their tour. I’d recommend giving the albums a listen and then buying a ticket to see them if you like what you hear, those gigs should be very good.
If you want to find out more about the band, have a read of these interviews in M Magazine and the Quietus, they are a very interesting bunch. And if you fancy one of those Ghillie suits click here!