Friday, 20 August 2010

Klaxons - Surfing The Void

After the massive Myths Of The Near Future and with so much anticipation, can Klaxons deliver another great album?

I have a slight problem with Klaxons. Mainly in that they kind of fell into the scene and suddenly became pioneers. Their album was essentially all their top songs they've been working on since they started - like pretty much all first albums I guess. But suddenly they became the leaders of Nu-Rave or whatever, but after inconsistent performances, health issues and more, they basically fell out of existence. We heard a while ago that they presented a new album to the label and were told to strike it off and start again - which must be discouraging to say the least. This is the result of all that hard work and does it show? No, not really.

It's clear from the off they haven't got the same buzz, youthful energy or enthusiasm that brimmed over the top of 'Myths...' but this seems quite a lacklustre performance from a band that are supposed to be the new wave of rave. Sure some tracks are good. Echoes, due to be the next single, is OK and if you like this song, then you'll probably like the album. The whole thing is hardly rave at all, instead it's got quite a slow regular pace throughout each song and the sampling isn't exactly amazing. Their vocal trademark is still around, and works a lot better than in past songs but, what my biggest fear of what would happened has happened, they've tried to recreate the same sound on the first album, with average results. The title track Surfing The Void is evidence that they have almost tried to completely recapture Atalantis To Interzone for example, but just not as good.

The Same Space is proof that the rest of the album won't be as electro as people hope. It's only when they digress into a more mature sound that they come up trumps such as the next track Valley Of The Calm Trees probably being my favourite track and the most accomplished. With bands like Foals creating a new, perhaps less energetic but certainly more expansive sound, it's a shame Klaxons haven't followed suit. Instead the middle of the album towards the end is just a mess. You can tell they're trying too hard to sound edgy and cool, but instead it's chaotic. Extra Astronomical is a joke - it sounds like 70s space-rock and not even good space-rock, it's pretty bad. Flashover, which was their first release I believe and a good choice because it sounds like it could have come from a lost session in 'Myths...' and one that I actually enjoyed.

Generally the album has a lot of ups and downs but more downs than ups, it won't rock your boat and they've lost their edge completely. It all feels so forced and unnatural, but not in a good way, it just doesn't feel inspiring and instead is clearly more of a mainstream 'pop' effort. It makes me wonder what that lost album was like and if it's better than this because, to be honest, I'd rather go back and listen to 'Myths...' again than this. If you're looking for another Golden Skans you won't find it here.

Rating: 5/10

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