Klaxons are a bit like to New Rave what Hoover is to vacuum cleaner.Klaxons – Surfing The Void
Since exploding onto the London Day-Glo party scene in the wake of fellow post-punk revivalists New Young Pony Club and Late of The Pier, the band quickly became synonymous with the genre. However, as quickly as they came to embody the psychedelia inherent in their music, they outgrew it. With Surfing the Void Klaxons faced that classic second-album dilemma: to continue in a similar vein as Myths of the Near Future, the band’s dance-infused debut, or to progress at the risk of alienating dedicated listeners.
Despite early demos of the album reportedly being rejected by the band’s label Polydor for being “too experimental”, it appears that NME protégés Klaxons have matured a little in the three years that have elapsed since their Mercury Prize-winning debut. Whether this is an organic evolution, or just an attempt to distinguish themselves from the hoards of skinny-jeaned indie bands dominating the music scene, is uncertain, but it certainly makes for interesting listening.
‘Flashover’ is a frantic, angular track that alludes to Fat of the Land-era Prodigy, while ‘Extra Astronomical’ features a bass line meaty enough to chew on. However, there is enough familiar material on the album to keep dedicated fans happy. For example, album opener ‘Echoes’ sees the band rediscover the infectious sense of melody responsible for previous hit ‘It’s Not Over Yet’, and ‘The Same Space’ appears to use the exact same vocal sample used on ‘Golden Skans’.
If Myths of the Near Future could be heard as a soundtrack to the youth subculture embodied in Skins, then Surfing the Void will sit more at home at an office party full of 20-something professionals, reminiscing a misspent youth.
Eoghan Bennett, Music Editor
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