When these guys first exploded onto the scene in around 2006, it felt like they could go on to be as big as they wanted to be. The sky seemed the limit for their tripped-out yet accessible sound, and with a litany of ready-made hits packed into their debut album, the signs were good after the first hurdle. Sadly, their second album landed in 2010 to much less fanfare, a situation which was worsened by the poor product they released – they’ve been missing from music ever since, with very few asking where they might be.
Their first album was a perfect medium between jagged indie and crowd-pleasing pop, and the second probably leaned to heavily on the former. Having returned with the disco-funk stylings of There Is No Other Time a few days ago, it looked like there the catchy, more pop-driven style had wrestled most of the control back, but Klaxons have thrown up another switch with this second effort.
It’s got hallmarks of a mid-90s Britpop anthem, evoking memories of Blur and the like, with a midtempo pace held together by a mesmerising and almost military percussion line, accompanied by crunching guitar work that really does throwback to the early and mid 90s era of British indie. It’s a definite switch in direction, but it works purely by being fairly unique in today’s scene, and it’s a positive step by the band in recovering some of their lost audience. Expect more soon, as the new album lands this summer.
Undoubtedly the best track on their lacklustre sophomore album, Echoes undergoes the electro treatment thanks to the esteemed Steve Aoki. He does a great job with the production too, keeping things extremely diverse and interesting as he switches things up at numerous points in the track: The track opens with frenetic synths that are soon joined by thumping bass pounds and light percussion work, and switches to a more vocal focused effort toward the middle, before switching back to the synth focus.
All electro tracks have that lengthy production ‘build’ to a drop, and I’m quite pleased he’s avoided that for the most part and instead created a build that utilises the vocals and results in the actual hook of the original track. Very much worth a listen, and certainly one of the easier electro tracks to digest in recent memory with the detail put into the production really showing through.
Klaxons-Echoes (Steve Aoki Remix)
As promised, Klaxons come through with their 5 track EP today. Recorded back in 2008, the EP has all-new tracks and should certainly be an interesting listen.
I was pretty disappointed with their sophomore album, Surfing the Void, which should have been one of the year’s highlights, but instead ended up being a real letdown. Outside of Echoes, it was a largely unremarkable effort, and hopefully they can recapture some of their former magic on this EP. Free download is below at the Klaxons’ place.
Klaxons-Landmarks of Lunacy
Set to be released on Christmas day, the band had the following to say:
‘There are periods of time that we have spent together as a band that the only suitable word that comes close to describing them is “Magical”. The three nocturnal weeks spent at Black Box studio in 2008 under the loving guidance of James Ford was undeniably the point where the magic was peaking. Tales of “Talking Dogs”, “A Rotten Apple named Mr Tabernacle”, “The Grid”, “Numerous Synchronic and Celestial Moments” and “Rejection” followed but what has remained hidden until this day is the music. Sometimes the only way to let a story release it’s full power and potential is to offer it up to the universe – so here it is – ‘Landmarks of Lunacy’. It’s time to let the music do the talking. Merry Christmas.
This is most definitely NOT work or school safe. Outside of the first 3 seconds, I’m not really convinced its safe for viewing anywhere.
Body parts are morphed together, women vomit a clear liquid into the men’s mouths, there’s lots of nudity and it ends up in a pretty large orgy covered in the aforementioned transparent fluid.
Klaxons are certainly back to their odd selves, and throwing in heaps of nudity to accompany that return to the bizarre. I really don’t know what else to say: it’s essentially pornography for the clinically insane.
Interesting story here. Apparently, they only had a few minutes prior to the recording of this video/audio to practice, for which Church definitely deserves some credit.
This was one of my (very few) favourites from Surfing The Void, and this performance is very good. Being an acoustic performance, it does naturally lose some of the original’s energy, but replaces it with a relaxed aura that makes it much more accessible to a wider audience.
Worth picking up the audio for this, which you can do here.
Of all the bands to do a cover, Klaxons are definitely the right pick. Gaga’s mental, and so are they.
As you’d expect, these guys do a decent job on this (remember their cover of Justin Timberlake/T.I.’s My Love?). What’s interesting is that if you listen to the two back-to-back, it’s quite clear that vocally they’ve improved massively, both collectively and individually. They make this sound like it could quite comfortably be their song in the first place, which is about as good as it gets for a cover version.
Klaxons-Bad Romance (Cover)
Just a quick one, as I didn’t realise the situation with this track: I thought it was actually on the album, but it’s just a bonus track and hence I’ll distribute!
As with the rest of the album, it’s more an indie-rock track and not the dance-rock style of their debut. Having said that, it is probably slightly closer to dance-rock than some of the album tracks, if only for the additional production in the verses. If you liked the album, you’ll like this.
Some superb stuff in our August snapshot which perfectly compliments the closing of summer as we welcome autumn with open arms. We’ve mixed old school with new school to create that sound which will have you rocking out until next month’s episode. New material from the likes of Atmosphere, Usher, Fat Joe, Sage Francis, Lil Wayne and Drake all sit comfortably next to some classic older joints from Damien Rice, Linkin Park, Kanye West, and of course, Eric B and Rakim.
If you’re still clutching onto the dying days of summer then don’t worry, we’ve kept July’s snapshot available for you. But trust us, take our hands and let’s step into autumn together.
OTU’s August Snapshot
Confused? Find out more here.
A few tracks leaked recently from Surfing the Void, and this was probably the strongest of the batch. If I’m honest though, I just really like the title, and it wasn’t significantly better than any of the other tracks.
Future Memories follows on from Echoes nicely, displaying the Klaxons removal from the dance-rock genre and toward the indie-rock style. As with Echoes, they still manage retain their unique qualities, specifically their penchant for ‘creative’ lyricism.
Hence, the hook is pretty decent on this one and uses the title of the song to interesting and catchy effect whilst the rest of the track doesn’t disappoint either and makes for entertaining listening. Having said that, the key progression in their music definitely seems to be their work with the guitars, which is significantly more refined and developed from their 2007 debut effort. Grab it below.
It’s taken 3 years, but we finally have something new from the Klaxons. Many had given up on them, and expected them to be one-album wonders. Thankfully, they’re not.
Echoes is a welcome return, and has a clearer, more refined sound than their experimental debut. Whether that’s actually the case or I’ve become insensitive to the style/sound due to many doing their best to rip off the style since isn’t clear. What I do know is that this is a really likeable piece of indie-rock whereby they’ve largely ditched the dance/rave influence in favour of a much more guitar-heavy sound, managing to also retain the key component to their success: a brilliant, memorable hook. For me, there was a fear that they’d try and be even more experimental with their follow-up and get it wrong, but they’ve instead decided to focus on making good music.
This musical change is reflected quite superbly in the video too, which is much more strimmed down and way less trippy than their past videos. Maturity seems to be the factor at work here, and combined with that unique Klaxons magic makes for some top drawer music.