Jamie Reynolds, James Righton, and Simon Taylor, a.k.a. the London trio Klaxons, have raised certain expectations. Maybe it's because they were at the forefront of the British "new rave" scene that began making noise in UK magazines last year. Maybe it's because they covered the early-'90s rave hit "The Bouncer," by Kicks Like A Mule. Maybe it's because Klaxons' debut single, "Atlantis To Interzone," featured a whirring air-raid siren, a move swiped from countless hands-in-the-air anthems. But those expecting Myths Of The Near Future to be full of blipping synth riffs and hands-in-the-air exhortations should think again—and consider another genre from the same period. Myths is, if anything, a grebo album.
For those who didn't read the British press in the late '80s and early '90s, "grebo" denoted a sloppily deployed mishmash of indie rock, goth, psychedelia, dance music, and sample-based hip-hop; practitioners included Zodiac Mindwarp and Ned's Atomic Dustbin. And also, in spirit and sound alike, Klaxons. They throw anything they can against the wall to see what sticks; rave just happens to be one of those things. Certainly the band gets credit for enthusiasm: Myths songs like "Atlantis" and the thrashy "Totem On The Timeline" never lack for energy.
Focus, however, is something else: Most of this album is a slapdash mess. The trio's chirping, moaning vocals are wince-inducing (nowhere more than when they adopt falsettos, as on "It's Not Over Yet"), and their blaring synth noises mesh queasily with their stomping guitars and drums. Given the abundance of post-DFA dance-punk and French synth-as-guitar riff-house available of late, there's already plenty of "new rave" around—even if that's not what it necessarily calls itself.