“Sadly, it's much easier to create a desert than a forest” – James Lovelock
Snapped Anklesreturn to the forest, but it’s not as they left it. Trees planted in neat rows. A well-ordered monoculture with access roads and heavy machinery. The smell of greenwashed money in the air. There’s no sign of the ancient woodland they emerged from on debut album, Come Play The Trees. And it’s far cry from the gentrified East London they found themselves hawking on Stunning Luxury. All is not well in the face of progress. Welcome to the Forest Of Your Problems.
Even among the famously close-knit woodwose community there are factions forming. Meet The Business Imp, The Cornucopian, The Nemophile and The Protester. Each with their own motivations and belief systems. Their own sense of injustice: contradictions, anxieties and guilt.
There are woodwose who have risen to the top in the boom and bust world of real estate and hedge funds. Grab what you can before the next crash. Others find euphoria in the absolute conviction that wealth and technology will see us through this. There are those with their recycling in order, who are well-versed in the prospect of imminent ecological and economic collapse, burying themselves in vegan cookery and extensive international holiday itineraries. And there’s an increasing number angry at the state of the world, ready to take to the streets and the trees in an attempt to force real change.
Forest Of Your Problems runs the gamut of modern woodwose emotions. In this neat human approximation of the forest, it’s an increasingly knotted affair. Despite all of this, Snapped Ankles haven’t lost their innate ability to make you want to move your feet - their Teutonic forest rhythms are still shot through with post-punk lightning. Whether they’re exploring those opportunities which might arise when a Nigerian prince emails out of the blue on ‘The Evidence’, or referencing the crooked woodwose attempting to go straight on ‘Rhythm Is Our Business’, this is music to lose your inhibitions to. The moments of pure elation on ‘Shifting Basslines Of The Cornucopians’ are worth the admission price alone - “It’s a great time to be alive!” …apparently.
Snapped Ankles outsider status has always allowed them to hold a mirror up to society. Now the boundaries are not so clear. In the four years since Come Play The Trees was released, their cult has flourished. Previous album Stunning Luxury saw the band invited to play the BBC 6 Music Festival and a KEXP session on the back of a sold-out UK tour which culminated with two nights at Village Underground in London. As those who have witnessed the shamanic ritual of their live shows will attest, they are a truly unique, communal experience. Forest Of Your Problems will see the woodwose bring their ancient forest rhythms and high-wire, multi-media live act to ever bigger stages - including Camden’s iconic Roundhouse in October.