Stuff that pops into my head. Innit.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Klaxons - Surfing the Void

I have to say I was rather looking forward to the new Klaxons album, so when I read a couple of shall we say....uncomplimentary reviews I was a bit taken aback and prepared for a bit of a disappointment.
What I've now learnt is this: Don't read the reviews before you've listened to the album.

If there was one crucial difference between old rave and nu rave, other than that of scale, it's that the main participants in the latter were philosophy students rather than narcotically altered Scouse builders. 
Klaxons' valiant attempt to square that circle – or rather, to big fish little fish cardboard box that circle – resulted in a rightly acclaimed, Mercury-winning debut album, a record which tried to reference JG Ballard and make you dance at the same time, and was more successful than most of their peers in blending the cerebral and the physical (you didn't hear words such as "exponential" and "Sargasso" at a Hadouken! gig).
Three years is an eternity in pop culture, and the shallow tide that bore them has receded, leaving them high and dry (albeit still with a major record deal). Meanwhile, successive waves of bands – Friendly Fires, Foals, Delphic – have picked up the indie-dance baton. 
Nevertheless, it's been time well-spent.
Surfing the Void is a denser, more complex and intense experience than its predecessor, as well as being noisier, more distorted and more mangled. Lead single "Echoes" and second track "The Same Space" are both reminiscent of the aforementioned Delphic, which may sound unfair as Klaxons were there first. Then again, Joy Division and Kate Bush were both first to the beat they use on "Venusia", so it's all relative.
It's an album which peaks late, with the brilliant "Future Memories" and the strangely angular sound of "Cypherspeed". It's also an album which, heard out of context in pretty much any era, would be an ear-jolting, borderline mind-blowing listen.

I've just listened to this again and I think it's excellent, far better than their debut, Myths of the Near Future.
Well worth a purchase or download.



The Irrepressible Pinecone said...

I loved Klaxons' debut album, and after hearing this, I want to buy their new album more :)
And as for the reviews- they often heavily contrast with what you actually think. The only reason I ever read them is to discover new bands.
The Irrepressible Pinecone

fizzee rascal said...

Yeah, I'm going to give the reviews a miss from now on.
It's a great album, it really is.

Tom Millson said...

I'm listening to it right now!

I bought it yesterday and just going through it song by song. Echoes I think is epic and I like the video that goes with it. I agree with your thoughts about The Same Space too.

Now I'm just going to prepare for this "late peaking" you described and then take a look at my bonus content :)

Miss Bobo said...

It's a great idea not to read the reviews on most things especially music because it just ruins the brand-new vibe for anyone who is discovering the band/artist for the first time. I like the fact that you wrote about the Klaxons because I have listened to them but I figured not many people would know them because they aren't mainstreamed (or so I think). I love the video.