On the hottest day of 2017, I had the pleasure of interviewing Snapped Ankles and one of the last things the group told me was about wanting to, and I quote, “reject nature and embrace capitalism” by becoming estate agents.
At the time, I thought it was just one of those off-hand comments that people in bands say to gullible music journalists to mess with them. But, as it turns out, the joke really was on me; ‘Stunning Luxury’ is exactly that record. This is basically a 10-song Gang of Four style takedown of modern capitalism, only this time, estate agents take the place of cheeseburgers as the avatars of blood-sucking consumerism.
Granted, it’s a hefty subject – but then, there aren’t many who can blend high-concept with dancefloor-ready jams like Snapped Ankles can. From opener ‘Pestisound (Moving Out)’ which feels like a long-lost Sparks single, all the way to the trippy, instrumental kraut-rock of ‘Dream and Formaldehyde’, ‘Stunning Luxury’ keeps dropping pop hook after pop hook. ‘Three Steps To A Development’ is easily the standout of the whole record and sums up where Snapped Ankles are with this one. An exhilarating mix of disco basslines, Foxtons patter and sly Liquid Liquid references.
If there’s one thing that might put some people off it’s that, sonically ‘Stunning Luxury’ is a lot more polished than ‘Come Play the Trees’. But, hey, that’s the point, right?