Despite their distinctive uniforms – shaggy and leafy, like folkloric beasts said to eat children who didn’t finish their vegetables – East London’s Snapped Ankles seem like two different bands. There’s the ecstatic live band which capture a raw, prehistoric energy, incessantly beating drums to the frantic splicing of depraved films; and then there’s the other band, content in playing hyperactive post-punk for the ailing state of the nation. Rather than synthesizing the two into a modern-ancient hybrid – a dissenting cry of shamanic fury – Snapped Ankles’ debut LP ‘Come Play The Trees’ seems to have been made by the latter group alone.
This isn’t to say this post-punk revival record is no good. ‘Let’s Revel’ contently rolls about in post-apocalyptic wasteland muck, and ‘I Want My Minutes Back’ is an indie club classic in waiting, bounding forward uncannily like The Fall’s recent work. But an air of hastiness hangs over everything, as if Snapped Ankles’ debut was put together because, at this point, something had to be.
Across its slight 9-track length – bookended by a near-indistinguishable intro and outro – we are treated to ‘Jonny Guitar Calling Gosta Berlin’ and ‘True Ecology’; one a single from their EP ‘The Best Light is the Last Light’ from earlier in 2017, the other a reworked version of a tune from 2012. Both are animated and animating, but they do indicate a lack of anything strictly ‘new’ on this debut LP. What’s more, the material we’re given doesn’t come close to bottling Snapped Ankles’ rapturous lightning.
Ultimately, ‘Come Play The Trees’ is unique among debut albums; it’s less an opening statement and more an impasse, a sign-post to something greater. Perhaps Snapped Ankles the shamanic art band, the one writhing in glorious sound and fury on stage, will rear its venerable head on record yet.
Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines
As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.
Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.
If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.
It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.