Snapped Ankles were formed in 2011 out of one of east London’s warehouse communities, but the members of this ramshackle post-punk unit are not quite the feral men of the forest their onstage get-up might suggest. Rather, they’re a bunch of artists and film geeks who are determined to cram some old-school fright into the city slickers.
They’re flinging us back into nature! Well no, not quite – into your uncle’s back garden full of scrap metal and overgrown weeds, perhaps. They’re dressing up as trees but not being dicks about it; they’re making synths out of logs but are just as ready to make synths out of estate agent signs. They are writing songs inspired by directors’ cuts of Soviet and Italian films (Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia) and the bygone heyday of DVD shops – ‘Shout Out To Close Up In Brick Lane’ – and they are simultaneously running almost tribal synth-drum circles with their log-oscillators and drawing influence from Old Norse texts.
In short, Snapped Ankles are a band defying convention at every turn and toying with their own mythology as they see fit (why the hell shouldn’t they)? They are so self-aware and tongue-in-cheek that onlookers are encouraged to just take their facade at face value and roll with it. Perhaps it is clearer this morning, more than other mornings in recent memory, that we need bands like this around to fuck with our perceptions and show what the drive, playfulness and verve of these little artistic communities can produce. There is rebellion in the daftness and obscurity, and Snapped Ankles are but a celebration of the necessity of the weird.