The new record from iconic Naughties new-ravers Klaxons was released only days ago, Aug 23rd and it has already split opinion. Produced by Ross Robinson (Slipknot, At The Drive-In) Surfing The Void is a distinctly different beast to their blockbuster debut Myths Of The Near Future. Suffering a few hiccups and false starts it certainly has its flaws. However, between the esoteric lyrics, clamorous guitars and gnarly bass sound, there’s a dark psychedelia that’s disconcertingly magnetic. It pretty much certifies the Klaxons’ ability to transcend their gaudy glow sticks/ Nu-Rave tag. While a musician might feel ashamed to admit it, these guys have done the second album thing in style. Since breakthrough groups are typically called on to simply, or impossibly as many find it, repeat the formula of their debut, it’s refreshing to hear a breakthrough act produce a second album that is both different and good.

If you don’t believe it, listen to the descending melody in the chorus of The Valley Of Calm Trees or the Muse-like bass line in Future Memories. These are songs that could easily cut it in the largest of venues, which is probably thanks to the man behind the desk. There are plenty of instances when Robinson’s influence is more than clear, as in the tumultuous title track or the Ramstein-like gang vocals during the chorus of Flashover. His production prowess makes it work though, as he pans guitars and general noise hard to either side creating a surprising amount of space for the band’s usual, layered, double octave vocals.

A combination of interesting production and quasi-space-punk songwriting make Surfing The Void a respectable yet odd record. It’ll appeal equally to an open-minded fan of Ross Robinson or a Klaxon fan who’s grown up a bit since Myths Of The Near Future.

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