Who? Remember raving? Well Klaxons — London’s own Jamie Reynolds, Simon Taylor, and James Righton — sure do. They’re entirely too young to have been around for the first rave scene and they dress like a bunch of nerdy indie kids, but the trio like warehouse parties better than regular gigs, and after the success of their single, “Gravity’s Rainbow,” U.S. audiences are being given the chance to become slaves to the rave with the Xan Valleys EP.
What’s the Deal? The spaced-out sounds on Xan Valleys EP are not classically “rave,” not in the old sense of an 808 boom and some squelchy bleeps fading into a few piano plunks anyway. Instead, Klaxons pump fast and slick Casio melodies alongside dirty guitar stabs and even dirtier rave-y samples (think sirens, laser beams, and light saber swordfights), all backed by club-ready beats and post-punk bass grooves. Meanwhile there’s a smattering of singing, whether that be the sweet falsettos on the title track or snarling punk screams on the stellar “Atlantis to Interzone,” which mixes those rave sirens with a side-winding guitar groove. There’s even some spoken-word on a cover of old school ravers Kicks Like a Mule’s “The Bouncer,” which has a gruff doorman denying entry to the listener over a warped bass line and clattering drums. Not psyched-out enough? Well the two remixes are there to melt what’s left of your mind.
Fun Fact: The band name has a nifty double meaning. Relating to the French for “to toot,” the name justifies the non-stop whistle blowing of Klaxons uber-fans at shows. It also refers to an ancient method of communicating across great distances using drums. J. GABRIEL BOYLAN
Now Hear This: Klaxons – “Atlantis to Interzone” (Download MP3)
On SPIN.com: Klaxons Find ‘Atlantis’
Talk: Would you travel to Xan Valleys for this band? COMMENT
On the Web: Klaxons at myspace.com