“I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that’s my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again… the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul.”
October 1982. JG Ballard was giving an interview on the back of the release of his collection of short stories, Myths of the Near Future. There are two sides to this coin of thought of course.
Exciting though they were when they first emerged in early 2006, the Klaxons exploded from the New Cross scene of art rockers and new wavers. In passing they jokingly mentioned the now fragrant colloquialism “new rave”, opening the doors for the many knocking about now, but more importantly, it brought the indie and dance crowds close enough to snort a line off each other’s knuckles.
And so followed a giddy berth of singles in six months (Gravity’s Rainbow, Atlantis To Interzone, Magick) which make it onto this album. Thing is, they double dropped, which you should never do unless you’re absolutely sure you’re prepared for later in the night.
If anyone expected a pulsating collection of “rave”, they’ve been easily misled by the band’s gimmicky videos and a press that should’ve known better. Its actually more in line with the scene they’re from: experimental, some time new wave and gleeful pop moments, which takes a leaf from its biggest exports, Bloc Party.
Isle Of Her clunks along repetitively in its robotic march of synth and interloping vocals. Forgotten Works is a 4am trip in a maze of smoke and blue light. Their Grace cover (and now permanent live fixture) It’s Not Over Yet is a surprisingly sober affair which does little justice to the original classic.
If the Four Horsemen of 2012 showed up six years ago it would have been termed nu metal. If it weren’t for the big three singles above and the habitually contagious Golden Skans standing well above the rest of the album, there would be nothing new or interesting about Myths.
Ballard once said: “Pop artists deal with the lowly trivia of possessions and equipment that the present generation is lugging along with it on its safari into the future.” Perhaps. While Klaxons are at times too cosmetic for their own good, they make this jungle expedition a little more worthwhile. That’s not fiction either, it’s mere fact.