Review Summary: East London's favourite Sci-Fi loving stoners reinvent Rave (yes, that kind of Rave!) Grab your glowsticks, I'll meet you down on the dancefloor . . .
Now before I start, I have to get something off my chest. The Arctic Monkeys are shit. Sorry, but I have to say it, they really are shit. Granted, their debut album was one of the finest British releases in recent times, their lyrics do sum up life in 21st century England better then any other band and they are a rather fantasic live band. But it's thanks to their popularity that every single money hungry Record Label owner in the country has decided to sign truckload after truckload of bland Guitar bands. Just go and turn MTV on, who do you see" it's your little sister's favourite band The Kooks kicking out their sickly blend of Mum-friendly Acoustic Pop. Go down to your local Indie club, what's that banging out of the speakers" it's Scotland's favourite one trick ponys The Fratellis. Or just simply go down to your local Record store and ask for bands that sound like Arctic Monkeys and watch in bewilderment as the girl behide the counter slowly creates a 47ft high stack of records right in front of you. It's not that British music isnt in a healthy state, - it's in fantasic shape. Possibly the best it's being since Punk, every city and town in the country has their own scene or movement and more people then every are buying Guitars and forming bands (fact!). It's just at the moment, it's more of a bandwagon then an musical melting pot of variety and significance.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you . . . Klaxons. The perfect cure to the Post-Arctic Monkeys hangover.
Klaxons were formed in New Cross, London in November 2005 (no, honestly) between three friends simply just for fun. Though it wasn't long before they became noticed for their Electro-Punk sound, insane live shows and um, questionable clothing style. You see, Klaxons arent like most bands out there. Not just because of their sound but because you get the feeling that their here for fun rather then money. This is easy to see if you've ever seen the band live. A Klaxons gig isnt a Rock concert - it's a ***ing party. When the Klaxons take to the stage, it isnt long before the room becomes a blurry mess of glowsticks, flourescent clothing and bright pink whistles. No, this isn't Manchester 1989, this is modern day England. Because the Klaxons are . . . .dare I say it . . . . Rave!
Yes, Rave! and just when you though it was safe to walk through your nearest industrial estate. That sickly sounding 'musical' movement which saw Lager louts invade the country's unused warehouses to pop Pills and dance frantically all night in is back. Thought saying that, if I grew up in the 80's I would have done the same thing to escape mainstream music. For those of you too young to remember Rave (which includes me) here's a little reminder. A quick trip to Wikipedia tells us that Rave music was basically all about fast music, bright colours, drugs, baggy pants and DIY parties. DIY parties often held whenever, wherever. Warehouses, deserted fields, beaches, underground tunnels and even Stonehenge. Rave was basically Punk for the 1980's. But only with ***ter songs and better drugs. Of course everyone's favourite coloured toilet paper brand the NME have recently given the band their trademark kiss of death, by giving them a Cover feature, several single of the week awards and even dubbing them the godfathers of New Rave (don't even ask).
So if Rave was seen as an escape from mainstream 80's music . . . .does this make Klaxons the antidote to British Indie in 2006"
Klaxons are . . .
Jamie Reynolds - Bass/Vocals
James Righton - Keyboard/Vocals
Simon Taylor - Guitar/Vocals
'Xan Valleys' is a US only released EP, brought out in time to tie in with the band's first ever US headline tour last September/October. Although I don't enjoy blabbering on about artwork for too long, I must say the artwork for 'Xan Valleys' sums up the music here perfectly. It's a messy collage of freaky looking objects and bright coloured paper that screams ''DAY-GLO-ELECTRO-PUNK-FUNK-ROCK OVERHERE!'' better then anything else could. The EP kicks off with the oddball Soul funk of 'Gravity's Rainbow', in an instant it's easy to see why Klaxons are the great party band they are. The beats are snazzy, the bass is groovy and the chorus is irresistible (''Come with me, come with me/ We'll travel to infinity''
). It's the type of song the Chili Peppers would make if they would just put down the herbal tea and go on a two week long Valium bender. But to be honest, do you really wanna hear the Chili Peppers after two weeks of Valium abuse" exactly.
But it's the second song that really shines here. 'Atlantis To Interzone' is the band's finest song by about 10 million miles. It's a pounding, chanting, mental piece of Dance Rock that make the likes of The Rapture and Franz Ferdinand sounds as dangerous as James Blunt. It's got the energy of early Prodigy, the snarl of the Sex Pistols and the lyrics of um, Yes (''Good thieves of burning cars encirle poisened rivers minds and hearts"
). It rumbles along on top of it's fuzzy basslines, harmonised vocals, crashing drums and even spontaneous foghorn noises. Before burning out with only 10 second left into a heap of falling pianos and screaming vocals. It's a song that's made to be played live, the type of song that will have everyone in the whole venue up on their feet, it's nothing short of amazing. Quite simply, one of the most mind-blowing pieces of Guitar music you're likely to hear this year. Tresure this.
Although '4 Horsemen Of 2012' isn't far behide it. A musical mudpit of distortion and rambling vocals the track burns brighter then a glowstick and is just as entertaining. It's the musical equivalent of an acid bath with a bunch of hyperactive aliens. i.e. rather ace. Though yet again, the lyrics make no ***ing sense what so ever which can get rather annoying, although it is believe that 'Gravity's Rainbow' is about ejeculation so . . . maybe we don't really want to know what the words are.
Finally, the last 'proper' song on the EP is 'The Bouncer' a cover of an old Acid House song by Kick Like A Mule. Although the song was originally intended to be nothing more then a tounge in cheek cover version, it has quickly become a live favourite, and so it's made it's way onto CD. Although at first it's a rather embrassing listen it's not long before the line ''If your name's not down your not coming in!''
becomes printed onto your braincells. In the space of 2 minutes the songs goes from being a dog-earred comedy cover to being a speaker blowing Rock monster. Can't really say Avril did that with 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' can you"
The last two songs left on the CD are both remixes. Like 99% of remixes their both nothing special, both of them don't bring anything new to the concept of remixing or any fresh ideas to the original songs themselfs. So don't bothered burning these onto your iTunes, just stick to the first 4 songs and you'll be fine.
In an age ruled by Acoustic Pop pretty boys (The Kooks) and gobby talentless half wits with bad eyeliner (Lily Allen) 'Xan Valleys' is a breath of fresh air. It's safe to say that the Klaxons are a much needed part of British music right now - though there's still room for improvement. But for those bored of hearing songs about chip shops and counsil estates this is for you. Everyone needs to hear this band, from the hardcore Indie kids to the 'New Rave' scenesters. You need this band in your life. 3.7/5
Atlantis To Interzone
4 Horsemen of 2012
+ Refreshing new sound
+ Atlantis To Interzone
+ The production on '4 Horsemen . . '
- The Lyrics
- The slight cheesiness of 'The Bouncer'
- Makes you look like a scenester if you ask for it at the record store (as I learnt)
Thanks for reading - Horrorshow34