Feb 07

IHM Lyrics Watch – The Klaxons

I Hate Music16 comments • 1,687 views

Klaxon is a trademark for an electromechanical horn or alerting device… they alert listeners of the vehicle’s arrival and possible danger… derives from the Greek verb klazo, meaning “to shriek” – Wikipedia

I have discovered a way to improve the image of sixth form poetry. It has cost me dear, so I would like to share it with you. It is to expose the lyrics perpetrated by “nu rave” (“no hope”, more like) band Klaxons. Their migraine and nausea inducing sounds are backed up with the most ill-thought-out pseudo-intellectual lyrics you are ever likely to witness. Unless you are a particular fan of Jimmy Page (more fool you).

Now much as I HATE MUSIC (in capitals for the commenters who seem to still miss this basic point), I have a fondness for the written word (like most ‘web-loggers’) and a disposition for what is grandly termed literary fiction. As these Klaxon boys pretend to. However with all of literature to choose from they seem, predictably, hung up on male ‘cult’ authors (I said ‘cult’) beloved of adolescents. Books such as these are like drugs: fun to experience but tedious to hear being talked about, let alone sung about. Just as each generation fondly imagines they are the first to discover marijuana, every moping goth thinks they are the only person to have read Herman Hesse’s “The Glass Bead Game” under the covers with a torch. The Klaxons might actually be the first to have read it under the covers with a glowstick, alternatively they might have been doing something else with their “glowstick”. In any case it is we, the innocent public, who deal with the horrendous aftermath: the resulting regurgitated purple prose. Usually this is locked away in the sixth form common room along with posters of Che Guevara and Roger Dean album covers. But when this prose starts to gain a wider public profile, swift action must be taken.

But why take inspiration from literature when you can merely replicate the titles of books! That’s right, just name your album and a couple of tracks after JG Ballard and Thomas Pynchon novels. That’s the hard work of making you look literate done. Then you can get away with pasting lyrics together from the mystical guff copied off the back of books about Aleister Crowley and HP Lovecraft. Here’s a particularly bland example:

“A whipporwhill in flight, turns east towards Westphalia, In search of lost time, with the magic of true light”

To give them a smidgeon of credit, a North American bird would indeed turn east if it was to head towards a region of Germany, though why that would be a destination or even directional guide across such a distance I don’t think anyone cares to know. Perhaps the word was carefully chosen after it was once highlighted, in orange, in a copy of The Atrocity Exhibition with the words ‘oo, nice sounding word’ in the margin. And an empty allusion to Proust as well: bonus points on the “not actually read or understood a word of it”-o-meter.

That modern music has resorted to the lyrically moribund tactics of 70s prog bands is no surprise, but their abuse of language to publicise this as a “new” form of anything, leave alone “rave” (the very mindless music I asked the government to outlaw in 1994*), leaves me breathless.

Nu-rave: I dig thee a NEW GRAVE.

*Have you seen the Utah Saints recently? EXACTLY.


  1. 1
    Pete on 28 Feb 2007 #

    Glowstick it up yr arse!

  2. 2
    tracerhand on 28 Feb 2007 #

    I think it is a reference to the Treaties of Westphalia, which marked the beginning of the modern nation-state. The whipporwill is a symbol of humanity, and turning “east” towards “true light” is the dawning of an age of corporatism as the politico-legal structures of the nation-state are subverted by the balance-sheet exigencies of the military-industrial complex. “Lost time” of course refers to a misplaced watch. So really what the Klaxons are saying is, “we’re gonna rock around the clock tonight – UNTIL SOCIALISM IS DEAD.”

  3. 3
    Pete on 28 Feb 2007 #

    Pity they don’t so much ROCK as sound a bit like a poor mans BELOVED then.

  4. 4

    of course everyone knows that NAMING YRSELF AFTER SOMEONE ELSE’s RECORD is even worse

  5. 5
    graeme on 1 Mar 2007 #

    Klaxons are one of the most unique new bands around, screw the lyrics, who listens to them anyway when you are in a pit of 300 people bouncing to their music. The person who wrote this obviously spends too much time practicing essays on grammatical terms. I enjoy the Klaxons as a breath of fresh air to a strangled music industry. I dont need to read into their lyrics and pick them apart (unlike some people) in order to understand what they are about. I would love to take the poster of this to T in the Park this year and let them fully understand why the Klaxons are more than just words on a page…

  6. 6
    tracerhand on 2 Mar 2007 #


  7. 7
    Alan on 2 Mar 2007 #

    graeme, i fear your suggestion of taking someone who avowedly HATES MUSIC to a MUSIC FESTIVAL may not be the most inspired of tactics. Besides, I don’t think Tanya would be at all keen on a festival sponsored by crap beer where there was no G&T on demand.

    The equation is: Tanya minus G&T plus surrounded by music fans = violence

    And as the festival organisers have a commitment to the safety of the people who attend, I doubt she would be allowed in.

  8. 8
    Pete Baran on 2 Mar 2007 #

    Yes, I too would fear the arrival of Klaxons in the above scenario: THE KLAXONS OF THE POLICECARS COMING TO TAKE HER AWAY…

  9. 9
    rich on 13 Mar 2007 #

    You disturb me.

    just in general you seem to be a deeply dissatisfied person who is simply trying to create a fake personality by hating everything because you think it makes you ‘different’

    it all seems so forced, i mean seriously why does music matter that much to you that you feel the need to go around hating it all. why dont you just lighten up… or alternatively please enlighten us as to what you think good music consists of, because if you can do a better job then im sure many people reading this would love to hear your musical efforts.

  10. 10
    Al Ewing on 13 Mar 2007 #

    ‘what you think good music consists of’


  11. 11
    rich on 14 Mar 2007 #

    riiight, anyway, my point is this.

    if you hate all music then you are saying that all music is bad, true?

    if all music is bad then by what standard do you compare it too? you see i could claim that the food i am eating is bad, but i can only say that because i know what good food tastes like, and i am therfore comparing bad food in relation to good food. however i could not say all food is bad because it doesnt really make sense. the same idea should apply to music, if you say this music is bad you must have some kind of good music to compare it too.

    simply by saying that music is bad, by necessity you are admitting that good music has a possibility of existing, for you cannot have good without bad or vice versa. (again another analogy) if we say Hitler was a bad person, then we are automatically implying that a good person can exist.

  12. 12
    Tom on 14 Mar 2007 #

    I think the analogy would be with murder, rich.

    All murder is bad. Some murders are more bad than others, but when you compare them to the preferable alternative of non-murder these differences are questions of degrees.

  13. 13
    rich on 15 Mar 2007 #

    i was trying to avoid making it a moral issue which murder is, so my analogy of food is (IMO) slightly more accurate. the Hitler thing was just because it was the easiest way to get my point through.

    besides which on a murderous note, voluntary euthanasia could be seen as a form of mur der by some and good by others. and im sure there are other examples.

  14. 14
    Tom on 15 Mar 2007 #

    Clearly it is a moral issue for Tanya!

  15. 15
    charlie on 22 Apr 2007 #

    what the fuck are u on?
    the klaxons are fucking awesome and everyone knows it.
    so stop slagging them off and get a life.
    id like to see you do better you pathetic wench!

  16. 16
    steve m on 23 Apr 2007 #

    Tanya’s versions of ‘Not Over Yet’ and ‘The Bouncer’ ARE better it must be said.

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