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Klaxons are an English indie/dance/nu rave band. The are definately unique and that's what attracted me to them in the first place, i've never heard anything like them before. In recent years they have become increasingly popular at festivals. The current members of the band are: Jamie Reynolds, James Righton, Simon Taylor-Davis and Steffan Halperin. So far they have only released one studio album:
Myths Of The Near Future (2007)
**My Favourite Tracks**
I love everything about this track! It starts off with vocals and then really kicks in, it's brilliant. There are a lot of ideas and theorys as to what this song is actually about, personally, i'm still not sure! Some say that it has something to do with American Indian mythology. Another theory, one that makes the most sense to me, is that the song is referring to the collection of stories by JG Ballard called 'Myths Of The Near Future' which is where the album actually gets it's name. My favourite lyrics from this track are: "A hall of records or numbers, or spaces still undone, ruins or relics, disciples and the young." 8/10 from me.
There's one thing that I really love about this song- the bouncy, fast paced style. It's a perfect rave tune and a definate crowd pleaser. As with most of the songs on this album, the meanings are complex. As far as i'm aware, this track is a reference to the novel written by Thomas Pynchon. My favourite lyrics from this track are: "All ships of sense on hyper ocean, all kytes of chaos still in motion, my culture vulture such a dab hand, I'll steel you from the year 4000." Such a strange yet brilliant song. Again, 8/10.
**#10.It's Not Over Yet**
Right from the very first second that I heard this song I loved it. I loved the electric sounds, the vocals- everything. To me, this song is about a relationship breakup and how the guy loves the girl and wants her to stay. He keeps telling himself that the relationship isn't over, he refuses to believe it. This track is one of my all time favourite songs! My favourite lyrics are: "I live for you, I de for you, do what you want me to. I cry for you, my tears will show that I can't let you go." Definately 10/10.
#2.Atlantis To Interzone
#4.Totem On The Timeline
#5.As Above, So Below
#6.Isle Of Her
#10.It's Not Over Yet
#11.Four Horsemen Of 2012
**My Overall Opinion**
I think that this was a fantastic debut from Klaxons. There is a good mixture of different tracks, each completely unique. I don't think that there will be another band like Klaxons for a very long time. The meanings behind their songs are also something completely different and original. Overall I would rate this song 9/10. I can't wait for their next release!
What is new rave? A hybrid of punk rock and electro pop? Sounds exciting enough, but is this really the case? Not quite. Ignore all tags and labels, and take Klaxons for what they are, an exhilarating band open to experimenting with their distinctive sound. This album managed to win last years Mercury music prize. As big a Klaxons fan as I am, I thought that was slightly misguided, but then again, I can't say the Mercury music prize holds any credibility in my book, mainly due to the humongous errors made in previous years, but that's just one woman's opinion. Anyway, Klaxons consists of four lads better known as James Righton (vocals, keyboard), Jamie Reynolds (bass, vocals), Simon Taylor Davis (Guitar) and Steffen Halperin (Drums).
With the rise of Britpop, it seemed the charts (the credible ones anyway) only consisted of one thing, Indie boys with guitars. I can admit Arctic Monkeys were a much-needed breath of fresh air, but as time has passed, the clones have appeared in droves. It's the same old thing being rehashed over and over again, I'm rather bored of the likes of The View or Little Man Tate and for me personally, this band came out at the right time. A refreshing new outlook on Indie boys with guitars. I've always been into dance music just as much as I adore my guitar driven melodies but would a mix of the two genres really work? More importantly are glow sticks really back with a vengeance?
I can hardly support the comeback of glow sticks. Blame it on my sever disliking for anything highlighter coloured, or maybe the fact that my eye was on the receiving end of an open glow stick thrown with much force by a scene kid. That may also explain my intense dislike for scene kids, but that's neither here nor there. Moving swiftly on...
This album has a mixture of sounds, and I guess you could say each song has a different take on the dance sound Klaxons have become so well known for. An example of this is the up tempo creation better known as "Gravity's Rainbow". This song consists of high-pitched vocals, mystifying lyrics, an addictive melody and an unmistakable drum beat. As their debut single, it garnered much attention and honestly, it's not difficult to see why, in a chart full of yet more guitar driven Indie pop, it's much more pleasant to experience another take on this somewhat tired genre. This track is an acquired taste, could be described as strange, but it's catchy, you'll be tapping your feet in no time.
With such a strong debut single, how would these boys follow it up? By releasing the song most responsible for the "rave" tag Klaxons have unintentionally acquired. "Atlantis To Interzone" is a delicious mish mash of sirens, killer bass lines and screamy vocals. I challenge anyone to resist pulling out a glowstick and start head banging to this. This is a track not for the faint hearted, it's not easy listening by any means, fast paced, exhilarating and noisy would be just some of the words to describe this exciting affair. Imagine a rave track with substance, this is that. This track wins at being the most likely to make you want to rock out (or should that be rave out?), expect to dance, plenty.
Made in the same vein as "Golden Skans", however "Magick" had less effect on the public, possibly because, unlike "Golden Skans", it seems to be more dance based. It opens with sirens and the tuneful "oooh's" which seems to be the Klaxons trademark. It's slightly mish mashy and with shouty vocals throughout the song but as the song continues, it has some pleasant melodies that might go unnoticed on the first listen. An impressive single.
"Golden Skans" is the song responsible for thrusting this little known band into the limelight. More commercial than their previous offerings, this song seemed to defy the New Rave tag, why? Mainly due to the fact that the trademark sirens, high-pitched vocals and dance elements seemed to be replaced by melodious repetitions of "oooooooh's" and "ahhhhhhh'"'s. Where are the dance elements? Where are the sirens? Do we still require glow sticks? Instead we are greeted with something much more gentle and melodic. This song charted quite high, so commercial it may be, but by no means does this lack any substance.
Fans of the mid nineties dance movement might be pleased (or annoyed) to hear the boys have included a cover of Grace's dance classic "Not Over Yet". This cover is a fresh and modern take on something that's very dated. That distinctive tune is still there; only it's been given the Klaxons makeover. Covers of this calibre usually share tons of similarities but I'm happy to report the resemblance between the two is limited. The sirens are back with a vengeance, but slightly less emphatic.
I would by lying if I said this album is incredible from start to finish, there are some true gems on here, but also some forgettable tunes. "Two Receivers" is an impressive opener with a harmonious drumbeat welcoming you to what's going to a very good album. It's slow and mellow and unlike most albums, doesn't really give you a taste of what's to come. "As Above, So Below" was one of my favourite live tracks before the debut hit the stands, unfortunately the album version seems to be too polished for my liking. It has a rather lively and animated feel, but the raw sounding finish that is absent from this version takes something unique away from what could have been a standout. It's still catchy and a great addition to the track listing, however this version is no longer one of my favourites. "Isle Of Her" was a song that went unnoticed for many of the first couple of listens, though I must admit, this seems to be the grower of the album. It stands out, thanks in large part to the fact that it doesn't seem to share any similarities to the other tracks. It's rather slow and the lyrics take a back seat to the twisted melody and persistent drumbeat. "Forgotten Works" is pleasant to listen to, but unfortunately, as the name would suggest, is rather forgettable. The lyrics leave a lot to be desired and the vocals can seem rather monotonous but take it for what it is, nothing astounding, but pleasing to the ear none the less.
Klaxons have entered dangerous territory with music fans. Rave fans claim there isn't enough dance, Indie fans claim there aren't enough guitars. Pretentious music fans may shun klaxons simply because they're known as "indie hipsters without any substance", but it's important to remember they made this record for themselves, and the result is quite simply one of the best albums of last year. What you won't find on this album are songs about getting arrested on a night out, or the girl of your dreams brutally ripping your heart into two. Klaxons find their inspiration in literature (as if the album title didn't give that away) most of their lyrics won't make sense to the average listener who doesn't count Thomas Pynchon as their favourite author. This just adds to their appeal, as this is not what you would expect in either a dance or alternative track. I know I'd rather take this lot over yet another Blur/Oasis rip off.
I've seen this band in concert several times, and though they aren't the best live band I've seen, they're still very enjoyable to watch. Very energetic to say the least, also it was music to my ears to be informed by Mr. Klaxon - James Righton himself, that glow sticks were to be banned from future Klaxons gigs. Huzzah. Anyway, given half the chance I would definitely see them again.
For a debut this is an impressive collection of tracks. I can only wait with baited breath to see what they come up with next. It's no secret this collective has shown interest in collaborating with none other than Jay-Z on their next outing, so one can only wonder what's in store for the sophomore release.
Don't be fooled by the "rave" tag that now seems to be permanently attached to Klaxons. Sure there are a number of dance elements to be found on this exceptional album, but not nearly as much as you'd expect. This album is a rather eccentric yet creative concoction of pop, electro punk and literature. Regardless of whether or not it's rave, new rave or whatever they want to call it this week, I suggest you pull out your neon coloured Nikes, skinny jeans and glow sticks and rave it up. You know you want to.
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
10. It's Not Over Yet
11. Four Horsemen Of 2012
The Klaxons shot to fame via the pages of NME magazine in 2006 at the forefront of the self penned New Rave scene that saw many bands emerge with new DIY sounds in an attempt to stop the endless flow of soundalike bands flooding Britains soundwaves. After months Klaxons finally released this in early 2007 and it was a great success with a spacey sound that set the bar for the year ahead.
Every song on the album sounds different from what has come before and although the album contains the singles Atlantis To Interzone, Gravity's Rainbow, Magick and Golden Skans it contains plenty of unheard material on it. The singles are in my view still the highlights of the album, but the cover of Grace's It's Not Over Yet is beautifully done and really stands out amongst the latter stages of the album.
This album is a spacey sounding pop rock record that captures the Klaxons DIY sounds fairly well although not displaying their frantic live sound in its entireity. Despite this it is a highlight from 2007 and the deserved winner of the Mercury Music Prize of that year. Whether they'll still sound as fresh and exciting on their sophomore album is another story, but for now they have produced a new keystone of modern music.
Also on Ciao
Of all the music genres out there, I would never have picked myself as a fan of indie rave, a term coined by Angular Records founder Joe Daniel, who released the first single by the loud-hailered sounding Klaxons. Variously described as "acid-rave sci-fi punk-funk" to psychedelic pop, Klaxons look to update the rave sound of the 90s in a modern setting, capturing a whole new audience along the way. What with all that acid house and keyboard-powered schlock hokum, it all seems too much for a man of my tender years. Then again, I hadnt figured with the Myths of the Near Future album. Klaxons are a three-piece made up of Jamie Reynolds (vocals), James Righton (keyboards/vocals), and Simon Taylor (guitar/vocals) with Steffan Halperin (drums/backing vocals) featuring from time to time after appearing on the track "Atlantis To Interzone". Hailing from Stratford-Upon-Avon and Bournemouth, the band counts influences as diverse as KLF (remember them?) to Solaris (apt with Sunshine out at the movies just now). The band's debut album Myths of the Near Future was released in January this year, entering the charts at number 2, following the release of the single "Golden Skans" (which peaked at number 7 in the singles charts) in the same month. Klaxons headlined the NME indie rave tour starting in February 2007 selling out at the Hammersmith Palais in two days. With early success in Europe, Japan and Australia as well as a burgeoning UK following, the future looks stellar bright for the band.
Myths of the Near Future has some very high points. As youd expect, the opening track is strong. Two Receivers is a brooding production, almost down-beat compared to whats to come. With an echo-induced drum beat and tinkling piano to usher in what will become trademark haunting lyrics, Two Receivers takes the listener into a traditional chorus driven track with the poetic chant And in space / two receivers turn away, Just in case / two receivers turn away, To displace / two receivers turn away, And in space Its a melodic dance anthem that gives the album a great start. For me, the album doesnt get any better than the DJ cry of the second track followed by the fabulous Golden Skans. Atlantis to Interzone is one mega-dance track. Replete with subliminal reference to American novelist and opiate addict - William Burroughs - Atlantis to Interzone is another alternate reality trip into a world of magic and borderline supernatural. Its a screaming, imploring song that changes pace as quickly as it picks up a new guitar/bass riff to rip the crowd along with the sound of an anthem. From Atlantis to Interzone/You start at the end and you end on your own/From Atlantis to Interzone/You start at the edge and you end on the throne. For me, this is the best track on the album.
Golden Skans is probably the bands best known song. With a easy-on-the-ear sound, Golden Skans has a characteristically catchy chorus surrounded by a wall of ooooo and ahhhhh as well as being atypically economical with its lyrical content. It also carries a very artistic video that comes with it. Golden Skans gives way to the relentless electro-punk of Totem On The Timeline. Filled with lateral tangents and oblique references, the songs dont add up to anything too deep on the lyrical timeline and theres no obvious social commentary going on other than a psychedelic journey into its own sound. With its fourth single (in no particular order and not accounting for the re-release of Gravitys Rainbow this year) Magick is referential to the British occultist Alistair Crowley with the chorus Magick without tears being derived from the title of one of Crowleys books. "Gravitys Rainbow is the other single release on the album. With a funky, bass guitar intro and a chirpy chorus line, Gravitys Rainbow" is a falsetto trek into infinity or at least according to the song meisters' lyrics together with your future love.
The album is by no means perfect. Isle of Her is reminiscent of an early Spandau Ballet before theyd struck a populist chord with Chant No.1, with a somewhat repetitive soft centre at its heart while Forgotten Works quickly disappears from the memory despite its self-effacing but convivial opening. Fortunately, the album pulls back with two belting tracks to finish with a crescendo. Its Not Over Yet is a synthesized, electro anthem that fades into the album finale Four Horsemen of 2012. Finishing with a muffled, heavy rock sound, Myths of the Near Future closes with a relentless energy that takes the album to the other side of the dance floor in a discordant, dance tune guaranteed to confuse and delight all at the same time. The band won the Best New Band award at the 2007 NME Awards and looks set for major stardom. This is an impressive first album although many have also managed great debuts without being able to follow it through. I hope Klaxons do. Their sound is a welcome departure to everything else that dominates the popular music scene at the moment. Myths of the Near Future will appeal to fans of indie pop/rave/acid house kinda music and doesnt venture too far from classical radio pop. Its a sound that will appeal to the younger generation and maybe call to a few of us who want to remember what was good about the best of the 90's rave scene.
Thanks for reading
Track listing at http://www.hmv.co.uk/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=280;-1;-1;-1&sku=564449
I bought the album from Tesco for £7.49
Available at HMV.co.uk for £7.99
All of the major singles are still available free @ http://www.myspace.com/klaxons
Disc #1 Tracklisting
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
10 It's Not Over Yet
11 Four Horsemen Of 2012 / (untitled)