Klaxons could be a really great band, really. The songs are fun. There are intelligent literature refs in the lyrics for young quasi-intellectuals to embrace - mostly of a nerd-culture nature, but not exclusively: riffs on William Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, and Aleister Crowley pop up too. But does anyone believe that they really read those books? Sound-wise, James Ford, of the ultimate lo-fi electro power-duo Simian Mobile Disco (and it's enough to say 'Hustler' to remind us of their raw dancefloor prowess) is on the production duties. Erol Alkan has been playing the Nightmoves remix of 'Gravity's Rainbow', a delightful song from the album, right from the start. But Klaxons are trying to fit shoes which are not theirs. Even worse: they're trying to fit shoes which do not exist.
Nu-rave is such a sad joke, that it immediately eliminates all the childish fun of this band. There's nothing ravey about those guitars - oh wait - you guys have a song called 'Golden Skans'? Must be rave then. You have 808 State-esque sirens on 'Atlantis 2 Interzone'? Nailed it right there. The glowstick kiddies will get sucked right in by the idea of covering Grace's 'Not Over Yet' and Kicks Like A Mule's old rave hit 'The Bouncer', but it’s an overegged concept to anyone old enough to remember the originals. It’s a stance, and stances don’t impress anyone except for hipsters. And aside from their visual appeal, who has an affection for hipsters?
Klaxons have made a thorough reading of KLF's pop guidebook. They know the rules, it succeeded, and now there's no MySpace poser who hasn't listed them as his FAVOURITE-BAND-EVER. They've got me to love them, hate them, then forgive them. Alkan made a wonderful afterhours piano-driven remix; Kitsune went crazy for the Nightmoves and Digitalism remixes; SMD put in an excellent effort as well – but in an interesting turn of events, Klaxons hype has become the main issue. That’s stardom I guess. Klaxons wanted to be successful and it happened, but on their way to become this decade's KLF, they have forgotten an essential point: quotes, references, homages, covers and re-makes is trade in secondhand goods. In the end, there’s something to be said for originality.