Published Sep 28, 2010Remember 2007? Way back then, London-based trio Klaxons unleashed a Mercury Prize-winning debut record that ushered in a new quasi-genre (you know which one), a torrent of imitators and a wave of bright-coloured hoodie sales. Since then, the band — now a touring five-piece — have endured a sophomore-record rejection and subsequent Mercury-curse rumblings.
Nevertheless, the literary space-pop combo eventually returned with the best cat-adorned album artwork of the year (take that, Best Coast). Despite the second LP's occasional inertness, the outfit's current live incarnation has party chops to spare. Still, their Mod Club gig started out inauspiciously.
Riding out a fuzzier-than-Fozzie Bear take on "Flashover," drummer Steffan Halperin's booming kit tried to compensate for an initially dirty mix. It didn't quite overcome the dirge, but did portend the rhythm-heavy tenor to come. From there, the sound settled down, clearing the way for a clean-cut take on Proustian favourite "As Above, So Below." Sure, hazy effects abounded, though they were of the artfully intentional ilk.
Deftly mixing the standoffish with the inclusive, Klaxons frequently drew listeners in, before rhythmically kicked them around, all in the name of dance-related fun. Thus, the chainsaw melodies on "Two Receivers" and "Atlantis to Interzone" gave way to fun-house keys and Jamie Reynolds and James Righton's pristine two-piece vocals, respectively.
The push-and-pull effect was typically buoyant and rousing, especially during set-highlights "Echoes" and "Golden Skans." Admittedly, it didn't hurt that Halperin's drumming seamlessly moved from math-rock beats to Viking-ship ferocity. Incidentally, it seems that Norse drumming and Technicolor fashions don't mix. Too bad; those hoodies were cool.