Album review: Snapped Ankles – Stunning Luxury

Snapped Ankles - Stunning Luxury album cover

It’s really hard to describe Snapped Ankles. They’re part dance, part psych-rock, part crusty avent-garde, part post-punk and a whole heap of English eccentricity. This is a group that dress in ghillie suits on stage and look like shamanistic yetis (see my unofficial Mutations Festival 2019 awards article for more).

Stunning Luxury is the band’s second album, following the release of the fantastic Come Play The Trees in 2017 – one of my albums of that year.

It picks up where the last album left off, but if possible it’s even more out-there.

There is classic Snapped Ankles on show here, such as the incessant synth line on Tailpipe, that you just can’t help being sucked in by. Delivery Van is a cracking bass-guitar driven number that plays with some truly odd keyboard melodies and 60s pysychodelia and general nuttiness.

Drink and Glide is another slice of the band at their most unashamedly enjoyable, with guitar and synth working in perfect harmony to keep a smile on everyone’s faces.

Rechargeable is probably my favourite track, a proper toe-tapping, head nodder that builds speed and layers as it progresses from its minimalistic start.

There is greater experimentation is on show on Stunning Luxury, which sometimes works, but sometimes falls short.

Letter From Hampi Mountain is a little hard to get into and seems to revolve around something akin to a bagpipe that’s swallowed a 56K modem. By the end, though, you are on board with it all. Similarly, Skirmish in the Suburb‘s Blade Runner-style opening keeps you hanging on for the eventually satisfying drums and acid synth conclusion.

Elsewhere though we have Three Steps to a Development‘s electro funk, which takes some getting in to. Stylistically it feels all over the place. You’re waiting for all the threads to pull together at the end, which they kind of do, but perhaps the payoff isn’t as big as you would hope. With Dial the Rings on a Tree, you are also left wanting more.

All things considered, this probably isn’t as strong a work as their debut, but the sheer audacity of Stunning Luxury is most definitely worth checking out – even if you don’t think this is your style of music. I also have a feeling that this may be a grower. Don’t be surprised if my rating improves over time.

Release date: 01 March 2019

Rating: 8/10

Standout track: Rechargeable

For fans of:

  • Phobophobes
  • Goat
  • Flamingods

Listen on Spotify

08 Feb releases – Reviewed and rated

Here’s last Friday’s new releases ranked in order of quality, along with some review links and a sample Spotify playlist. Rock most definitely won out this week.

Yak – Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

An intriguing blend of heavy riffing psych/stoner rock and 50s swing puts Yak ahead of the pack this week.

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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Flat Worms – Into The Iris (EP)

A six-track, 16 minute adrenaline rush from the La post punk (mostly punk) three piece.

Rating: 7/10Read full review

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Health – Vol 4 :: Slaves of Fear

This industro noise rock trio provide a delicious onslaught to the senses, tempered only by some delicate vocals and atmospherics.

Rating: 7/10Read full review

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Elder Island – The Omnitone Collection

Atmospheric electro-pop with shades of Florence + The Machine.

Rating: 6.5/10

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International Teachers of Pop – International Teachers of Pop

Enjoyable 80s tinged pop-dance romp bringing back memories of the Human League.

Rating: 6.5/10

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LCD Soundsystem – Electric Lady Sessions

Some ‘live’ versions of old classics, some new tracks and new covers. Nice, but not astounding. Probably one for die-hard LCD Soundsystem fans.

Rating: 6/10

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Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock

A healthy dose of fired-up alt-rock from one of the scene’s veterans.

Rating: 6/10

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Mercury Rev – Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited

Couldn’t get to grips with this one. Occasionally pleasant but mostly dull.

Rating: 5/10

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Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs

Pleasant enough solo singer-songwriter material, but nothing to make it stand out in a crowded field.

Rating: 5/10

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Cosey Fanni Tutti – Tutti

A promising start that drifts off into dirge-like squeaks and all round dull randomness.

Rating: 4/10

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EP review: Flat Worms – Into The Iris

Flat Worms - Into The Iris EP cover

This is the first full EP from LA post-punk (very much on the punk side) three-piece Flat Worms since their fantastic eponymous debut album in 2017, and it was worth the wait.

Into The Iris is a six-track, 16-minute adrenaline rush, that barely takes its foot off the pedal. opener Surreal New Year starts at breakneck speed – all fuzzy guitar riffs, impatient drums and a distinct Dead Kennedys vibe.

This continues with title track Into The Iris, which draws on more hypnotic elements and brings vocalist Will Ivy’s lazy, drawling lyrics (you can hardly call it singing) to the fore.

Things barely drop off through Plastic at Home, with it’s nice wobbly bass line and Shouting at the Wall, which has a strong retro feel to it – no bad thing in this case.

Only as we hit the final third of the EP do things start to slow down a little with laid back instrumental Scattered Palms and melancholy closer At the Citadel, a more pedestrian number which unfortunately shows that Ivy’s vocal style isn’t as well suited to the slower pace.

Overall a great EP that whet’s the appetite for another full-length album. Hurry up fellas!

Release date: 08 February 2019

Rating: 7/10

Standout track: Shouting at the Wall

For fans of:

  • Dead Kennedys
  • Idles
  • The Lovely Eggs

Listen on Spotify

New Music Friday 08 February – What to listen to

This week sees new releases from LCD Soundsystem, Mercury Rev, and Flat Worms. I’ll let you know how I get on with them during the course of the week.

Flat Worms – Into The Iris (EP)

Listen on Spotify

LCD Soundsystem – Electric Lady Sessions

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Mercury Rev – Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited

Listen on Spotify

International Teachers of Pop – International Teachers of Pop

Listen on Spotify

Yak – Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

Listen on Spotify

Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock

Listen on Spotify

Elder Island – The Omnitone Collection

Listen on Spotify

Health – Vol 4:: Slaves of Fear

Listen on Spotify

Cosey Fanni Tutti – Tutti

Listen on Spotify

Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs

Listen on Spotify