Myths of the Near Future
Since rave music and culture were hardly embraced in the States the first time around, let's just ditch this "new rave" tag—a highfalutin label (remember "electroclash"?) that's been pinned on the Klaxons. Instead, we'll call the British trio's brand of danceable rock, well, "dance rock." A dance-rock band not fronted by an Ian Curtis-sounding singer—that is, with a sound that is more '90s warehouse euphoria than '80s gloom, bringing to mind European techno-lite acts of yore like Technotronic and 2 Unlimited, with a dash of punky guitar thrown in. Don't expect to see pacifier-sucking wall-bouncers here, though: They're just another few indie nerds in cardigans, vintage Nikes, and hair that's never been combed.
Perhaps all the buzz about the Klaxons' just-released debut, Myths of the Near Future, is centered on the Shins-meets-Beach Boys harmonies of Jamie Reynolds (vocals, bass), Simon Taylor (vocals, guitar), and James Righton (vocals, synths). They sound wistful, romantic, and giddy; they don't need pills, they're high on life. The band's first single, "Gravity's Rainbow," is a hyper-elated, disco-fied "Let the Sunshine In" that'll have you trading glow sticks for flowers. And "Golden Skans" is an absolutely lush swirl of doo-roo-roo falsettos that's the Jacksons' "Can You Feel It," Earth, Wind and Fire's "Fantasy," and, yes, a little bit of "How Deep Is Your Love," all rolled into one. Add the sound of waves and sand, and you've got a funky beach soundtrack. If you want to keep your feet planted on the dance floor, "Atlantis to Interzone," with its fuzzy guitars and screeching alarms, is not so much a rallying cry as a bullhorn in your ears. (The original Klaxons were old-timey-sounding horns for cars and boats.) Check out the Klaxons' cheesy video for the song on YouTube, and watch the boys popping and locking and dodging laser beams!
Of course, you'd have to be bouncing off the walls to get their lyrics. There's a lot of apocalyptic and astrological mumbo jumbo—inspired by William S. Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, J.G. Ballard, Aleister Crowley, who knows?—about traveling to infinity; dancing horses; and Julius Caesar, Lady Diana, and Mother Teresa, all up in the same club. Maybe this is where the pills come in. But this being dance music, it's as important to listen to the words as it is to watch a DJ. So when the Klaxons play, you either toot-toot and beep-beep and make one with the beams, or get out.