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REVIEW: Klaxons – Surfing the Void (Polydor 2010)

I’ll admit to being a big fan of the Klaxons debut release Myths Of The Near Future for two reasons: 1) I’m a sad old lighting tech and I know what they are singing about on the track Golden Skans and 2) it’s an awesome driving album. Many a journey has been shortened by me putting my foot down with the album blaring at full volume.

2007’s Myths Of The Near Future won the band critical acclaim, including a Mercury Prize, with Klaxons touted as the pioneers of New-Rave (or should that be Nu-Rave?). However, the intervening three years has been marred with tales of their record company rejecting entire album submissions, leading people to wonder what the follow up album would sound like. Introduction of producer Ross Robinson to the process has created an album that the record company have agreed to release and has, perhaps, resulted in a slightly different sound to the band itself.

Surfing the Void opens with lead single Echoes which is possibly the closest that this album gets to Myths. However, the rest of the album has at times a more pop or rock vibe about it. Whether this is due to the influence of Ross Robinson or if this is the path the band wanted to take, the general feel is that Surfing The Void is a more grown up album than Myths was.

Just because the album is more grown up doesn’t mean that everything has matured, though. The lyricism is as rubbish as it ever was – some people may like the surreal, mystically-inspired, juxtaposed style of the songs, but sometimes you just get the feeling that they are trying too hard to be off the wall and weird and you just end up with a senseless jumble of words.

However this fact does little to detract from the album as a whole. There is very little that is “rave” of any variety on this album. Tracks like Flashover and Surfing the Void have a heavier, dark, rock sound to them whereas Twin Flames and Venusia have catchy hooks and throw your hands in the air style choruses. Not all the tracks hit home and many work better as part of the whole than as individual tracks but overall the album flows well, giving you little chance to catch your breath, and if it draws you in will drag you along on it’s slightly eccentric journey. It’s not quite as in your face as Myths but Surfing the Void does mark a good progression for a band that was marred with their own, jokey, new-rave tag and shows that Klaxons are, first and foremost, a rock band.

6.5/10

Kev Atkinson

By Kev Atkinson

Living on a precarious balance of caffeine and alcohol Kevin continues to baffle medical science by continuing to live. In order to keep these finely tuned levels up Kevin can often be found in pubs and clubs where quite by chance there is regularly music playing and through a process of osmosis has acquired a diverse taste in music. Kevin is known for his bright and cheery outlook on life as well as his spectacular sense of humour (some of that last sentence may not be true)

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