Sep 09

KLAXONS – “As Above, So Below”

FT10 comments • 902 views

One of the minor and miserable themes of my 00s has been the generally vain search for a British indie hype that I could enjoy. I’ve never consciously acknowledged this itch but the fact I once paid money for a CD by The Coral suggests it’s been lurking around a while. The record shows that my Top 3 90s songs were by My Bloody Valentine, Disco Inferno and Pulp and it’s not controversial to suggest that those lofty standards weren’t exactly maintained.

This is what I raised myself on musically and the feeling that an inventive indie sector should be part of the country’s musical make-up runs deep. Part of the problem though is that I got lazy – indie music slipped down my priority list and the radio and press channels which OUGHT to have eased the good stuff’s path to me had become part of a post-Britpop wasteland. In fact it’s quite possible that I didn’t see the good in UK indie because it didn’t fit with the stories I wanted to be telling. Better that, at least, than the idea that Foals were really as good as it got.

Klaxons never really looked like an answer but I enjoyed their record and it did have “As Above, So Below” on it, which fusing the Klaxons’ endearing ideas with something approaching coherence. The knowing junk-mysticism of the lyrics; the tottering big riff at the start; the gung-ho noisebursts, and the mantric “galloping, galloping beams faster” section that leads the song to its climax. That stuff should have tipped you off – if you hadn’t guessed it already – that Klaxons were as much to do with “rave” (nu or old) as the Stone Roses were with acid house. This is psych-pop, as old and simple as that, and I hope they get the chance to make more of it.


  1. 1
    Pete Baran on 15 Sep 2009 #

    So is this one of your top 200 then?

  2. 2
    Tom on 15 Sep 2009 #

    Yes – if the series thing was working properly it should have shown up as such :(

  3. 3
    Tom on 15 Sep 2009 #

    Or rather, if I knew how to work it properly!

  4. 4
    Alan on 15 Sep 2009 #

    crazy thing started off in a series alright. i noticed that. let’s try to restore that…

    seems to have worked ok. now you have http://freakytrigger.co.uk/series/songs-of-the-00s/ too

  5. 5
    anto on 15 Sep 2009 #

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. I was a teenage Indie Kid who spent too much of the noughties wondering if I had lost my grasp on music all together only to realise at some point that the likes of The Strokes (what Blonide would have probably turned out like if Debbie and Stein had never joined) and Franz Ferdinand ( Talking Heads minus ideas, sensitivity, grooves, decent lyrics and just about any attributes apart from haircuts) really were considered the best of the lot. I came to realise maybe I was out of touch, but missing out?? not really.
    I really don’t think there has been any indie sounds to rival the songs on Different Class or Loveless or Reading, Writing and Arithmetic or Suedes first album or Get In by Kenickie. The Arctic Monkeys remain for me a nice attitude for a band that on record comes out grey. Their decision to hand control to the preposterous Josh Homme shows they might have picked up a dissapointing conservatism between albums 2 and 3. As for The Libertines it’s possible their slim output is already dated.
    Thanks for the Beatles reviews on Pitchfork by the way. I read several feature on the re-issues. Yours was by far the best.

  6. 6
    Lex on 16 Sep 2009 #

    I was gonna say that even I, a renowned hater of indie, can name several pretty amazing indie acts from this decade! Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santogold, The Raveonettes. Then I saw your British caveat and was like, oh well. The xx, obviously. Maybe The Kills, if you’re being generous (and even then they go out of their way to sound American). This country, sigh.

  7. 7
    Billy Smart on 16 Sep 2009 #

    Mm, the only British indie things that have excited me this decade have been proper old-school indiepop things like Ballboy, Camera Obscura and Bearsuit. And I’m a bit out of touch with that sort of thing since John Peel died.

  8. 8
    Steve Mannion on 16 Sep 2009 #

    The Kills are 50% American anyway. Do Broadcast count as indie?

  9. 9
    Tom on 16 Sep 2009 #

    #6 The XX may well grow on me, at the moment I STILL can’t quite deal with the dude’s voice.

    Broadcast count I think. Stretching the definition of “British indie bands” as wide as it can reasonably go, there are 7 more tracks to come on the list of 200.

  10. 10
    Matt DC on 21 Sep 2009 #

    The other week I found myself wondering whether or not the 00s have been the worst prolonged period for British guitar music in pop history. Of any time from the Beatles onwards, certainly.

    Actually I think the late 90s may have been worse but it’s a close call.

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