For the last decade, we’ve gotten to hear tons of new post-punk bands emerge and take the genre to new places. Post-punk in so many ways, was and still is a genre with very few definitions, leaving the possibility of what it can be open for interpretation. East London’s Snapped Ankles have definitely made their mark on the genre, based around their costumed live sets, their bizarre band bio, and of course through their interesting take on what the genre can be. Mixing electronica, proto-punk and and elements of krautrock into the angular guise of post-punk, their new album Stunning Luxury is an exercise in creative freedom that never really disappoints the listener.
The album’s opener “Pestisound (Moving Out)” combines jungle rhythms and hypnotic beat structures to garner a sound that’s a far steer from traditional post-punk. The use of live drums mixed with modular synths and varying synthesizers makes a sound that is catchy as hell, but very different. The disconnected use of live instruments and heavy electronica continues throughout the record, especially on the upbeat track “Tailpipe.” In so many ways, the song utilizes multiple genres, crisscrossing between them like a hot knife to butter. The distanced vocals make the song have a darkness that wouldn’t be there if the vocals were more upfront in the mix.
There’s a lot happening on this record, holding your attention at each and every turn. The way the drums create a mesmerizing rhythm on “Letter from Hampi Mountain,” the darkwave nuances of “Rechargable” and the almost techno dance touches of “Three Steps to a Development” signal post-punk being done as if ADULT. or Indian Jewelry were covering 154 by Wire. The largest standout of the album is possibly “Drink and Glide” where the band employs a mixture of “Warm Leatherette” synths and live drums and bass with a disaffected vocal, creating a sound that feels like a modern interpretation of the past, but never sounds like it’s been lifted. The entire album is strange to the senses without feeling polarizing, it’s dark without heavy darkness and it’s future sounding without heading into the EDM realm. With Stunning Luxury, Snapped Ankles firmly places their mark on what post-punk can be without stepping on anyone’s toes.
You can stream Stunning Luxury wherever you stream music, you can purchase it in all digital music stores or you can purchase it on vinyl or compact disc directly from The Leaf Label. Snapped Ankles is on tour March 22 in Berlin, Germany at Kantine am Berghain until October 29 in London, U.K. at Village Underground. Their complete tour dates can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Leaf Records.