Music News


U.K. scenesters understand that it's easier to come up with a new descriptor for a musical subgenre than it is to actually invent a fresh sound. Hence "new rave," which cleverly combines two tried-and-true handles in a manner that means everything and nothing at exactly the same time. Klaxons members Simon Taylor, Jamie Reynolds and James Righton have been anointed as the style's standard-bearers, and on Myths of the Near Future, their U.S. bow, they dabble in rock, dance music and intellectualism -- a blend that's more accessible than it seems. "Atlantis to Interzone" features clubby sirens, plenty of beats per minute and lyrics that pretend to poetry, while "Gravity's Rainbow" contrasts its Thomas Pynchon-derived title with group falsettos and a galloping groove. Startlingly innovative? Not to anyone who's paid the slightest attention to British dance rock stretching back to the mid-'80s -- but it's still entertaining, as long as the hype can be kept at arm's length. So rave on, Klaxons, whether there's anything new about you or not.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts