So, the new Klaxon’s album is finally out right? No, I didn’t know either. Well, I did, because I’ve got it. James Ford sent me a copy. Jokes! I know James Ford didn’t produce it you turd. It was some dude called Ross Robinson who did loads of heavy metal stuff (Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot n shit). I want to say that this was a brave and interesting move that has improved the band and helped them move forward into an authentic and gimmick free band, but I just don’t think that’s the case. The album was never going to be Nu Rave 2.0, and no one wanted it to be and in this they have succeeded, they have taken away the ‘nu-rave’ elements like the dance music feel to a lot of their tracks that gave it that glo-stick rave feel. However, when you peel that away from the band you end up with something quite average. They still have a nice urgency, but it is tempered, and they still have the high pitched ?harmonies that were so effective in Myths of the Near Future, but again they are mixed with actual attempts at singing and I am not sure that this is the band’s strong point (see the beginning of Valley of The Calm Trees).
Echoes (above) is the first and probably the best track on the album, and this essentially pinpoints why the album is not as good as their debut. The album has some tracks which sound a lot like old Klaxons (Flashover, Surfing the Void and Echoes) which work and are actually pretty good. The new tracks, the tempered tracks, the rockier less urgent and paniced tracks, are just kind of like Klaxons but a bit boring.
Flashover (above) is a really good track, and brings back memories of Magick, Echoes rings of Two Receivers and Surfing the Void of Four Horsemen. However, there are too many Forgotten Worlds on Surfing the Void. This is the essential failure of the album. Like MGMT earlier this year, it’s hard to follow being such a huge buzz band and bands think they have to “mature, grow-up and mellow” but in doing so they have just made themselves less interesting. It’s certainly a very listenable album but, three years in the making, and in comparison to their outstanding Mercury Prize winning debut, it will probably just blend into generic rock obscurity.
The awesome album cover may not be enough to save this album from being just average.