Posts Tagged ‘The Leaf Label’

Snapped Ankles

Taken out of the context of their stage gimmick (instruments built into logs, ritualistic forest costuming) the music from London’s Snapped Ankles has always stood on its own. The band’s sound glides the knife edge between Krautrock and post-punk in a satisfying way – marrying the motorik grooves of Neu and Can to the caustic accusations of The Fall and the brittle tension of Wire. On their previous album they used the combination to explore shades of paganism burrowing under the veil of modernity. Now they go one shade heavier and a few steps deeper with an album that’s built to blow out the prosperity gospel from the inside and topple the creep of gentrification with the power of art-punk. Or so it would seem.

The themes on Stunning Luxury send up the corporate culture and indulgent inclinations of the developers and agents of change that seek to gentrify the landscape of Snapped Ankles’ warehouse scene. Class War and art-politik have always had a place in post-punk and they continue the tradition quite nicely, welding the rumble-funk of Liquid Liquid to the smirking slash of Gang of Four. They’re taking on the creep of capitalism’s basest impulses with a beat battered mirror – sucking the helium out of mindfulness, microdosing, and money management with equal vigor.

All the subversive slapback doesn’t mean a thing, though, if its not digestible and that’s where Stunning Luxury finds its foothold. The band’s catchy enough to underscore the best promotional clip on the power of positive thinking. It could easily integrate into the culture that they’re seeking to shred. Whether that means they get co-opted or they make a few middle managers think twice remains to be seen. The transformative power of music vs. capital isn’t a winning ratio in 2019, but the album remains an enjoyable ride with well-deserved targets nonetheless.



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Snapped Ankles – “Drink and Glide”

UK rhythm-picked psych lobbers Snapped Ankles are back with a new album next March and its shaping up to kick just as hard as their last. The band has put forth a clip for lead single “Drink and Glide” that’s chafing the corporate mindfulness and self-care cavalcade. The song itself is built on their stew of hard-chugging rhythms, squelchin’ keys and anthemic vocals. Lotta psych bands utilizing the Echoplex vocal stab these days, but it takes a new tack to not make it sound like an Oh Sees rip. The band skirts the influence of their American compatriots, while crafting a sound that would slot in quite nicely next to them on any playlist. Feels like the second album is shaping up to be just as freakishly fun as the first. Check out the clip above and stay tuned as the album creeps closer.

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Szun Waves – “Constellation”

Enter an engrossing new video from jazz-psych combo Szun Waves. The trio, consisting of producer Luke Abbot, drummer Laurence Pike (PVT) and composer Jack Wyllie (Portico), unleashes an enveloping track of glistening tones and majestic brass from their upcoming LP on LEAF. The accompanying video, directed by Sam Wiehl, forms a xeroxed wonderland in muted tones and mutable shapes that reads like microscopic images set to work by the Joshua Light Show. The video’s effects were created with 3D models, paints, solvents, and air fresheners but the results are nothing short of otherworldly. If this is just a taste of the album, I definitely want to sink into this wholesale. Keep an eye out for New Hymn To Freedom in August.

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Snapped Ankles

OK, lets just start it out by saying that the “hold a mirror up to us,” Shakespeare-embroiled marketing around this album is a bit heavy handed. Snapped ankles aren’t going to shift your perception on life and bring out the Sun King in all of us. However the album is cherry picking from a great gob of rhythmic-forward electronic, dance and pop music from the last forty-odd years and doing a lot of it quite well. Frog-hopping time and genres from Gary Numan-robopop though Clinic’s reinterpretation of German Progressive ideals then spinning ’round and incorporating a good deal of the bombast that fueled The Chemical Brothers’ vocal-heavy entries – the record is seemingly stuffed but cribbing from a lot of common elements. What those artists sliced like sonic cutlets from the ’70s (or in Numan’s case, just invented) Snapped Ankles rake into the pot for a full press ante on wonky lock-step pop.

So, yeah while they aren’t the first to plow the lane, they’re still widening it just fine. The back to back double kick of “I Want My Minutes Back” and “Jonny Guitar Calling Gosta Berlin” are the crest of the album, rolling all their appropriations together, and as I’ve previously mentioned, emulating the aforementioned Numan better than many who’ve knelt at the altar. The rest of the record doesn’t shake out too shabby either. The band is working well in the redline, pushing ecstatic pop that’s looking to jump out of the skin and live in the electrons bouncing untethered in the air around us all. They know how to work the squelch into a hook and wrangle atmospheres over a motorik grind. So, yes while I’m going to call the band out on whatever’s happening in this picture, the record stacks up just fine for all your high-volume hi-jinks needs.




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Snapped Ankles – “Jonny Guitar Calling Gosta Berlin”

First time I heard this one, I had to double check the credits, make sure this wasn’t an old Tubeway Army or Ultravoxx track lost in the sands of the internet. London’s Snapped Ankles pull hard from the school of post-punk machinations that Gary Numan and John Foxx started, almost to an uncanny degree. But hell, if you’re not going to blaze a trail, at least walk it with confidence, right? That, the band does with a cocked robotic smile. The accompanying clip is a barrage of melted images that pair well with the motorik clockwork of the track, overloading every minute with a caffeinated buzz that throbs in the veins and punches the medula oblongata a few times on the way out of the body. This is a nice throwback to the emotionless arch of synth punk’s architect eyebrow.

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