Last month marked the full-length debut of one the hottest and hyped bands to come out of the United Kingdom since the Artic Monkeys in 2006. So who are Klaxons?
They were dubbed, and it seems to be really sticking despite their attempts to distance themselves from the genre, leaders of the "new rave" movement by their label. To give you a more mainstream comparison think of the recent Intel commercial featuring the song "Ice Cream" by the New Young Pony Club. This genre can be compared to the influx of dance-punk in the United States, which has been gaining popularity in the last couple years. To make a cheap comparison let's say the Faint meets Interpol, but this is doing no justice to the originality and other influences that Klaxons bring to the table.
Myths of the Near Future features three songs off last year's EP Xan Valleys, including my favorite Klaxon track "Atlantis to Interzone." This song will quickly have you realizing why people hear the rave scene creeping into their music; it will also have you quickly moving. The beginning will make you feel like you should be surrounded by pill-popping club-goers and then the guitar comes in just to confuse you. Finally the vocals join in to complete what you will now know as Klaxons. A low-quality version of this track can be found on their MySpace page.
The next track, "Golden Skans," is a great change of pace and where I would like to believe my Interpol comparison came from, but one can easily hear a band like the Flaming Lips. Well, at least for a minute and then the band changes it up on you again. I don't know how this track flows from "Atlantis to Interzone." It really shouldn't, but it works somehow and it works flawlessly. This track is definitely for those who like to keep their electronic-dance out of their indie rock, and is a very friendly track on any pair of ears.
"As Above, So Below" and "Isle of Her" bring the same sort of mellower feel that "Golden Skans" does. Both of these tracks are good, but are something that I can get from another band. What makes this album special though is that these less experimental tracks are sandwiched between "Atlantis..." and something as upbeat and downright amazing as "Gravity's Rainbow."
Another standout on the album is definitely "Gravity's Rainbow," which may define the band the best in just one song (and is also featured on their MySpace). This track was also the first on their EP and those who haven't already played it to death will embrace it as one of their favorites on this album. The band brings a lot of different styles to the table, but this song mixes them all together well, and the chorus is probably the catchiest Myths has to offer.
The album closes out on two high notes with "Magick" and "It's Not Over Yet." The last track "Four Horsemen of 2012" can be ignored for our purposes. "Magick" brings back the heavy keyboard/synthesizer that you've probably been yearning for since "Atlantis to Interzone." "It's Not Over Yet" continues from the buzz "Magick" gave you and winds down the album in spectacular fashion, making you wish the track name had some truth to it. Lucky for all of us, we can just hit repeat.
Much like many bands from the UK, Klaxons are riding a wave of hype and expectations coming into this release. While the bar has been set high, I have to admit that Myths of the Near Future does not disappoint on any fronts and many will have their fingers crossed for a future release while listening to this album over and over again. If you find yourself listening to bands like Fischerspooner, Bloc Party or LCD Soundsystem I would be hard-pressed to say that this album is not for you.