April 19, 2007

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Klaxons, Myths of the Near Future
Geffen Records, 2007

Take two cups of Coldplay-influenced Muse and mix with a half-liter of Moby. Fold in lyrics from the same pot used by Yes and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. Spread around in uneven proportions, leaving holes for servings of practically nothing but lumps of Franz Ferdinand. Bake at 450 for just over 36 minutes, sprinkling drum loops and samples over the top at random intervals, and presto! You have the first full-length, such as it is, album from Klaxons.

It just so happens some of those bands are my favoritest ever, so I have a hard time complaining about the derivativeness. The name of the last track, “The Four Horsemen of 2012,” brings to mind the cover of Muse’s 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations (four dudes in shiny suits sitting around a table in a stark Martian landscape) more than anything else. Fun fact: the Mayan calendar ends in 2012. Oooh.

The album definitely has a science fiction/fantasy feel to it, with other song titles like “Gravity’s Rainbow,” “Totem on the Timeline” and “Atlantis to Interzone,” whatever that means. Some songs would fit nicely into the background of the new Doctor Who series, while others would do nicely at a rave, if only they were longer than four minutes. That’s actually a good sign of discipline, though, since some tracks could easily turn into rotating arrangements of techno beats and lyric samples. The layering is actually quite artful, and never sounds overly repetitive.

The words could be clearer, in both diction and meaning; the mixing muffles them and pushes them to the background, and prog rock is not exactly known for its simplicity of expression. But I can certainly see myself listening to this album when I want to make a 45-minute car trip in nine fewer minutes. B+ —John “jaQ” Andrews