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Klaxons - 'Echoes'

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:27 UK time, Tuesday, 10 August 2010


It's probably not worth asking why it has taken the band quite so long to come back, is it? Not when they've returned with a song which sounds pretty much like everything else they've ever done. I mean, you can't blame them for being them. Klaxons are clearly not the kind of band who spend ages in the studio pushing away at the outer reaches of possibility within the field of recorded sound.

Oh sure, they TALK like that's what they do, their lyrics READ like that's what they do, and they DRESS like that is what they do, but they don't. Or at least, if they do, their record company would rather they did not, and have taken steps to ensure this is the case.

They had that one good idea - about fusing old rave music with indie and science fiction - and they recorded a whole album which explored this idea, and then they went away to have fun, recorded and ditched a whole album of songs, and now they are back.

(Here's the video. Do you think they know they're being filmed?)

Of course, it's not like there is a massive NEED for the outer reaches of sound to be explored, or for barriers to be broken. That's just a recipe for having to build new barriers a bit further away. But you'd like to think somewhere down the line that Jamie and James would have learned a new harmony? Singing in unison, an octave apart - just like they did on 'Golden Skans', musicologists - is all very well, but it's a bit plain for self-styled Sonic Adventurers, isn't it?

I mean even the Saturdays have mastered harmonies which are more complicated than that.

Elsewhere, well there's still that tension between the immaculate perfection of the band's songwriting aspirations and the ham-fisted, squally, messiness of their performance. Everything sounds a bit too loud and boomy, as if recorded on a dictaphone in a huge cavern. These are all plus points, I might add.

There's a parallel to be drawn between this and '70s science fiction, in that it's no longer a vision of the future. And yet it's still a compelling thing it its own right, even though the costumes are ridiculous and the hair is unspeakable.

That said, the stark reality of Tinie Tempah, Lady GaGa and even Mumford and Sons are all proof that time-changed reality is weirder than anything humans could ever predict with their minds. And that's if you're someone who spends most of their time IN their minds in the first place.

*shoots Klaxons a worried look*

Three starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Music Reviews For Idiots says: "I'm really not all that impressed with the music video, it looks like it was created back when MTV actually played music videos."

Bitter Fingers says: "I will review it by comparing it to their illustrious back catalogue.."

The Sloppy Dog says: "they still carry the same arthouse swagger that suggests they take themselves just a little too seriously."



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