Eat A Phone is out now.
Experimental funk noise punk. How does that sound to you? Over here at Overblown it sounds pretty damn appealing. It’s the field that Cardiff trio Twisted Ankle are ploughing with reckless abandon. Employing discordance and a math edge, the group windmill through their cacophonous sound on their debut EP Eat A Phone with complete disregard for genre and convention.
We spoke to the trio about the inspiration behind the EP title and the songs that reside within. Turns out that it is equal parts thoughtful, irreverent, and bored.
Eat A Phone
Twisted Ankle started off as Bruno and Henry pissing off the neighbours, trying to remember how to play their instruments at 2am.
We found Jos minding his own business in a Cheltenham car-park, and dragged him into the back of a taxi. Turns out he plays drums.
After a year mucking about writing 2-bit half-baked rock we realised ‘Noise music’ is super in right now, so we Googled it and just did that. Eat a Phone is an EP named after Jos’ catchphrase ‘buy a burger, eat a phone’, and the cover art is made of three superimposed photos of our mouths – taken with a phone – because it’s called Eat a Phone.
The EP was recorded in an afternoon by our mate Josh at Arches Studio, under the train tracks in the centre of Cardiff. We recorded live so we had to stuff the guitar amp into a toilet cubicle for isolation (pretty punk right?). When we play shows we try to be as irregular and energetic as possible, so we wanted the recordings to reflect that.
1. Cilla Black
Bruno – This song’s kind of about feeling judged for just being yourself. Like, you’re under constant scrutiny for your actions in modern day society and people just lap it up. As for the name, I’d like to say it’s referring to how the way we navigate our online lives and relationships is often comparable to the inconsequential questions and decisions of the guests on the hit 90’s prime time television show Blind Date, hosted by Cilla Black. It’s not that though, it’s just that it sounds a bit like the theme tune.
Henry – At the beginning of the bridge on this song I made a long ridiculous shriek that completely overpowered the other vocal tracks, making it impossible to remove. I regret nothing.
Jos – This one is quite groovy but also quite abrasive and angry, I love it. I don’t think we could have come up with better opening track than this one.
2. ABC KGB
Bruno – This song’s about education being for the young and power being for the old. And living in that precious spot in the middle where you just want to go and fucking dance.
Henry – We had the name long before the vocals for this one. I think it was about Vladimir Putin originally but the funk got in the way. Also, Bruno kind of raps in it, which I strongly encourage.
Jos – This one came out of me just playing a weird rhythm on the drums, I feel like it shows our math rock side but also once again our ability to bring a nice little funk groove. The riff and the rapping is bizarre, I feel like this is what it would sound like if Beefheart hung out with Beastie Boys and Shellac.
3. Netflix & Loathing
Bruno – This song’s about the majority of young adults I know. Netflix, spliffs and cocaine. It’s a criticism of young apathy whilst also addressing our own apathy. Cool-guy culture, drugs, not giving a fuck blah blah blah. I’m bored of it.
Henry – I think the Internet is pretty much a real-life God we built ourselves out of wires, text and pictures, and I guess that’s why my relationship with Wikipedia gets more religious daily. That sort of stuff’s in there somewhere in this one, all mixed up with references to H. S. Thompson and whatnot.
Jos – It was awesome to finally write a hardcore punk song, albeit a weird one; it’s an ironic sort of statement on the genre. It’s not about how cool you look, it’s not about what bands you are affiliated with and it’s certainly not about how much money you make or awards you win. It’s about seeing what happens when you try to express yourself and constantly evolving it through the musical platform that we have.
Bruno – I saw a poster advertising a ‘real revolution in designer makeup’ opposite my workplace and thought ‘fuck you’. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against makeup but apparently this revolution consisted of a photo booth where people could hashtag their favourite looks or something I don’t fucking know. Has revolution just become a word? Is real revolution affected by the fact that everything is labelled revolutionary nowadays? Why does it matter when I can have nice things? We won’t answer any of those questions in this song.
Henry – I do a lot of shouting in this one, and it’s great fun live to pick on members of the audience to berate. At the end of this song I finally got some use out of the second pedal on my board, (a ring-modulator) which I’ve since been shoehorning into a lot of stuff we’ve done since. Who doesn’t want their guitar to sound like a dalek?
Jos – This is one of my favourite songs we have. It’s weirdly hypnotic and the blend of the instrumentals with the vocals is just my cup of tea. The riff at the end into the noisy jam is really fun to play. The title is a reference to something Marx said that I reckon suits the music well: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”.
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