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Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future

Klaxons, Myths of the Near Future

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

LONDON-based outfit Klaxons are widely credited with being the flagbearers for the ‘nu rave’ movement because of the way they fuse synths, sirens and shrieky vocals with alt-rock and art-rock guitars.

Yet there’s much more to their music than this tag suggests. While tracks like Gravity’s Rainbow with its driving beats and synth stabs contain obvious nods to the rave scene, others such as the mighty former single Golden Skans are inspired by different mediums altogether.

Myths Of the Near Future is undoubtedly a dance-friendly offering but it defies easy pigeon-holing. Opening track Two Receivers is a super-charged introduction that sweeps you up in its energy and refuses to let go. The swirling keyboards, epic vocals and urgent drums combining to present a heady experience that’s augmented by a terrifically rousing chorus. It’s certainly radio-friendly and early evidence of the wide scope of the band’s ambition.

The nu-rave tag makes itself known during the siren-like opening wail of Atlantis To Interzone, before the rapid-fire drums kick in and an aggressive guitar chord drops to really bring out the punk elements. It’s like a bastard version of The Prodigy at their most menacing mixed with a punk rock outfit and it’s head-spinningly frenzied.

For its duration, listeners could be forgiven this is the shape of things to come given the descriptions being levelled upon the band – but then Golden Skans kicks in and you’re suddenly forced to re-evaluate the situation. With its “woo-y-who, whoa” melodies and strong sense of melody that harks back to the Beach Boys, this is an utterly infectious single that defies easy categorisation. It’s got massive crossover appeal and destined to catapult Klaxons firmly and deservedly into the spotlight.

Thereafter, the album continue to shift gears and focus. Totem On The Timeline is a return to the frenzied style of Atlantis…, before being followed by the schizophrenic As Above, So Below, which combines melodic verses with a raging chorus and a tempo change even more pronounced than Kasabian’s Empire.

A darker side to Klaxons is exposed by the haunting echoed vocals of Isle Of Her, an utterly brooding effort that distorts the basslines to supremely moody effect. It’s a slower offering that drips in atmospherics far removed from the ‘nu rave’ tag we had been expecting.

Elsewhere, Forgotten Works is both desolate and manic, again shifting tempos from verse to chorus, while dropping persistent, even flirtatious nods to the nu rave scene they supposedly pioneer. It’s another heady offering but one that grows and grows on you with every listen.

Magick, another former single, brings with it a welcome sense of familiarity courtesy of its striking central riff and breathless delivery, while a satisfying cover version of Grace’s mid-90s house classic It’s Not Over Yet is a dancefloor filler with attitude that washes over you like an exhilarating head-rush.

Finally, Four Horsemen Of 2012 brings things to a crashing finale, just as its name suggests. It’s when one suspects the band decided to throw off the shackles and just go for broke. Yet while its energy is beyond question, I’d have preferred if the album had drawn to a more coherent conclusion.

If Klaxons get such hedonistic tendencies out of the way early and stick to the likes of Golden Skans and Isle Of Her, then they have the makings of a very bright future. As things stand, this is a credible eyebrow raiser that provides a suitably guilty pleasure. You’ll be looking forward to hearing more from them.

Download recommendations: Two Receivers, Golden Skans, Isle Of Her, It’s Not Over Yet.

Track listing:

  1. Two Receivers
  2. Atlantis To Interzone
  3. Golden Skans
  4. Totem On The Timeline
  5. As Above So Below
  6. Isle Of Her
  7. Gravity’s Rainbow
  8. Forgotten Works
  9. Magick
  10. It’s Not Over Yet
  11. Four Horsemen Of 2012 / (Untitled)