First off, I think we’ve all heard enough of the “N” word when it comes to connecting the Klaxons to some pseudo genre style. The only wave that exists with their new release, Surfing the Void (tinyOGRE Entertainment), is the pattern made by the sea of people during the Klaxons’ tour, no doubt flowing and rocking to the myriad of soundscapes and aural breaks that crash, boom and swoon.
The Klaxons hit us Americans off our rocker back in 2007 with the release of Myths of the Near Future, which Jamie Reynolds, James Righton, Simon Taylor and Steffan Halperin introduced at SXSW and the subsequent tour across the U.S. The single off that album, “Golden Skans,” delivered those lovely pop melodies that were hard to let go of, while “Totem on the Timeline,” a classic track delivered what Brit music lovers like me clamor for, and “Four Horseman of 2012,” end-of-the-world persona may have inspired Righton’s “12-12-12” T-shirt that he wore during that tour. Accolades the likes of the Mercury Prize (pushing out Amy Winehouse…ouch) and numerous other awards followed, and rightly so.
Three years later Klaxons had some big boots to fill—their own.
Surfing the Void, after going through some producer and version iterations (the first run with James Ford from Simian Mobile Disco got the thumbs down from the band’s label), Klaxons have come out the other end with another bounty of musical tracks that both connect to their pop-hooks and groove foundation, while paving a new path for complex structures and at times, ear-bleeding excuses to stretch out for a mosh pit ride.
BBC 6 Music has been giving lots of airplay love to both “Echoes” and “Twin Flames,” the prettier sisters of the eclectic clan and a perfect complement to a walkin-on-sunshine kinda day. Those intricate harmonies between Reynolds and Righton still increase the heart rate.
Where Ross Robinson, the album’s producer who’s got At the Drive In, Slipknot and Sepultura notched in his bedpost, may have made his mark was on “Flashover,” a dirgy, bass-driven ride that hops, skips, and slashes to the bone with an eerie and haunting chorus that could raise those scary clowns from under the bed. Klaxons still retain the innate ability to seamlessly blend the worlds of high octave hues of beauty with the dank, back alley brutality of punk, which is evident on the title track, “Surfing the Void.” If Clockwork Orange were to come out in 2010, that would no doubt be the leading song on the soundtrack.
There are songs I put together when I’m either riding the bus, on my bike, or on the railway. Songs that play right along with the visuals of buildings, streets and people passing by me as I travel, and “Venusia” was an instant add to that playlist. The rhythm of spinning wheels or clanking rails, it all fits perfectly with the beat and hum of this beauty track.
Not only are Klaxons’ vintage ‘60s boots flowing over on Surfing the Void, they’re busting at the seams. Crafted with rock-steady hands, walking the tightwire between pop hooks and raging punk assaults, Klaxons have taken their music to the next chapter in one full swoop. Yeah, one hellava tidal wave swoop.
There are a few dates left of the Klaxons’ U.S. tour:
San Francisco, Great American Music Hall – October 7
Los Angeles, Filter Magazine Culture Collide Festival – October 8
West Hollywood, Troubadour – October 9
Remaining tour dates:
Anson Rooms, Bristol – October 21
Manchester Academy, Manchester – November 11
UEA, Norwich – November 12 O2 Academy, Bournemouth – November 13
ROCK CITY, Nottingham – November 14
The Forum (Kentish Town), Tottenham – November 16
Cambridge Junction, Cambridge – November 17
Oxford O2 Academy, Oxford – November 18
HMV Institute, Birmingham – November 20
Barrowlands, Glasgow – November 21
O2 Academy, Leeds – November 22
Tripod, Dublin – November 23
Astra, Berlin – November 26
Amager Bio, Copenhagen – November 27
Luxor, Koein – November 29
Melkweg, Amsterdam – November 30
Magazzini Generali, Milano – December 02
Falls Festival, Lorne – December 30
Falls Festival, Marion Bay, Tasmania – December 31
Southbound Festival, Busselton, Perth – January 03
Sunset Sounds Festival, Brisbane, Queensland – January 06
Download the free MP3 “Echoes (Live at Village Underground)” http://forthewinmedia.com/klaxons/