Surfing The Void review by Klaxons

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  • Released: Aug 23, 2010
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 6.5 (24 votes)
Klaxons: Surfing The Void
2

Sound — 6
Klaxons had a massive debut album in 2007 ("Myths of the Near Future"), defining their sound and gaining a somewhat modest fanbase. The rock/'new-rave' thing became the band's signature, their 'calling card'. All that does bleed onto this album too, but with no-where near as much thought, skill or originality as was on their debut. For the most of the album, the music seems lack hooks, catchy tunes and apparent skill. The experimental influence is clear, but whether it truely works for the band on CD is sceptical.

The lack of impact that this album has made on me may be down to hearing previous hit singles (Golden Skans, Not Over Yet) and being forced to compare them. I believe that the music could have been so much better. The drums, bass and keyboards work, yet are quite dull and tedious. The guitar is over-blown with effects and if displays no apparent skill in the playing. The tracks Valley of Calm Trees and Venusia are pretty catchy (much more so than most of the album), but the former is let down by the lack of skill/effort in parts of the playing.

On record, tracks like Surfing The Void sound so experimental-rock that they're a little messy. The same goes for Flashover, to an extent. Zane Lowe of Radio 1 once said that it was to be the best track of 2010, but that kind of proves that you can't always rely on the opinions of presenters/popular media figures. Flashover is alright, but nothing on this album qualifies as 'The Best of 2010' in any respect. And Flashover is by no means the best track on the album - even Echoes, the first single of the album, isn't one of the better tracks. Like most of the album, it's mediocre at best.

Lyrics — 7
The vocals are typical of what Klaxons have done traditionally. The melodies are of the higher register, with their usual lower octave vocal underneath. There's no harmonies as such, just the octave - don't expect to be impressed in this area. It's probably a good thing that they didn't over-do the album with harmonies, because it's not what their really known for. The whole high vocal/octave thing is easily recognisable as Klaxons, and it litters this album on most of the tracks.

The lyrics are fairly simple, but not bad at all. They aren't cheap or cheesy, but aren't incredibly inspired either. The most of the words are about speed, space or something equally grand, giving this album a kind of 'concept-album' feel (although saying that, most Muse songs are about something spacey, but they don't really do concept albums). The titles Surfing The Void, Valley of Calm Trees, Flashover, Cypherspeed all provide that epic feel. Overall, the vocals aren't incredibly impressive, but they work - that's what matters.

Overall Impression — 6
In brief, it's fair to say that the band are capable of producing truely great things, which is why they've won awards in the past. But the material on this album is really drab when you compare it to what they've previously done. Klaxons really are a live band more than anything, so the spirit of their music cannot be captured properly on CD. This album is probably one that you'd maybe listen to once then stick on the shelf. There's bound to be a selection of people out there that will love this album no end, I'm certain of that. But the general public or even big indie-rock fans won't be big on this album. Like I said, this band is a live band more than anything. The soul of their music comes from that live energy. The energy on here is rather flat without the visual aspect, it's fair to say...

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    BlesstheHorizon
    I didn't click here for the album cover, I disagree, I woudl give this album a 9. I was actually schocked that it would show up today I love it. Check out my guitar tab on the song Echoes.
    mr.speaker
    I will deffs listen to it and if i like it downlaod it coz i loved their song Gravity's rainbow, even though i heard the dirty south remix on ministry of sound sessions four
    LightxGrenade
    cleft11 wrote: Their first album 'Myths of the NEar Future' is NOT the music they want to play. They admit to writing the stuff to get big, so they could release the music that they wanted other people to hear.
    Oh so in other words they went all MGMT on us huh? lol but you do make a point that the music industry is incredibly flawed
    cleft11
    Everyone here seems to have misunderstood what the Klaxons are. Their first album 'Myths of the NEar Future' is NOT the music they want to play. They admit to writing the stuff to get big, so they could release the music that they wanted other people to hear. Unfortunately, when they wrote what they wanted, the record label turned them down and told them to write a new album, hence the 'death' of them in the UK. This album (although I haven't listened to it yet)I assume to be the crossover record, where it has to have some 'popular music' element to it, to drag in the wider audience, while being alternative to suit their old tastes. This again highlights the problem with the modern music industry.
    red157
    Before, if someone mentioned The Klaxons to me I'd say 'wow, they suck balls'. Though now I'd probably have to say 'wow, they suck balls, but that's one damn cute cat on their album cover'.
    Axim Bassist
    noodles95 wrote: I only clicked on this for the album cover, as im sure other people did too.
    yup
    LightxGrenade
    I liked their first album a lot. Gravity's Rainbow is a great song, and they were pretty original. I'll still buy this album just to see what they came up with. As for the reviewers talk about guitar, their first album wasn't guitar driven at all and was completely effect filled so how is that not to be expected? They're much more about the bass, drums and effects.
    noodles95
    I only clicked on this for the album cover, as im sure other people did too.
    FearOfTheDuck
    I remember this band. They were part of that Nu-Rave trend. Not sure if you guys in America or elsewhere had that.
    crusherclement
    ibrahimasood wrote: never heard of this band but that is such a funny album cover!
    They were pretty big in the UK three years ago when they released their debut "Myths of the Near Future" and then they kinda disappeared for a bit. They're OK, but nothing I wouldn consider classic.