There’s a now notorious BBC News interview, recorded the morning after Klaxons’ surprise Mercury Prize win for debut LP ‘Myths Of The Near Future’, which perfectly sums up the mad, drug-fuelled period in which the London nu-rave pioneers were the most exciting band in the country.
In it, visibly spangled NME journalist Alex Miller is forced to chat to a bemused reporter after singer Jamie Reynolds is deemed too pissed to be allowed on TV. During the interview, Alex notes how brilliantly ludicrous it is that Klaxons had won, beating off competition from frontrunner Bat for Lashes and megastar Amy Winehouse among others. “I don’t really understand how they’ve become such an amazing band, but they have,” he states. “They should be the ultimate scenester cliche, they look like they’re all clothes and haircuts”.
The excess, the silliness, the baffled squares; looking on in horror at the glitter-clad young men before them, representing things they would never want to understand. It was a perfect display of how utterly ridiculous it was that a band like Klaxons – a band so entrenched in pupil-dilating displays of ecstatic fun that they required a whole new adjective (MDMA-zing) to describe their escapades – had crossed into the mainstream. Because, even though Perez Hilton is probably aware of keyboard player James Righton as Keira Knightley’s other half now, back then Klaxons were a technicolour splash on music’s stranger horizons and ‘Myths…’ was their manifesto.
Ten years on, ‘Myths Of The Near Future’ is still as brilliantly bonkers as it was on first listen.
From the opening, escalating rumble of drums that opened ‘Two Receivers’ – an aural representation that a new breed was coming over the horizon, to the “DJ!” sample in ‘Atlantis to Interzone,’ ‘Golden Skans’ earworm hook, nothing more than an “oooooooooh, ah-ah”, to their needling, euphoric rework of Grace’s 1995 dance hit ‘Not Over Yet’ – the 3am / 5am / midday (delete as applicable) soundtrack affirmation that the party was alive for as long as you wanted it to be. There are so many iconic moments on Klaxons’ debut, it doesn’t matter that it feels totally out of step in 2017: it felt out of step in 2007 too.
After Klaxons had bust open nu-rave’s door, a rabble of bands followed (CSS, New Young Pony Club, Late of the Pier, Shitdisco, Hadouken), almost all of whom either imploded after their debut or struggled to follow its success (Klaxons included). But for a brief period they encapsulated a wide-eyed, curious, uninhibited antidote to the lad rock resurgence of The Enemy, The View et al that was happening around them. And ten years on, ‘Myths Of The Near Future’ is still as brilliantly bonkers as it was on first listen.
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