Upon releasing the first Klaxons single in April 2006, Angular Records founder Joe Daniel called them "new rave" (a term then picked up by influential UK music magazine NME). Myths of the Near Future has that post-modern mix of today’s upbeat ambient, and the dance-rave craze that swept England in the nineties. It may have taken eight more months for the Klaxons to release their debut album (on major-label Polydor), but the full-length record has the same fresh sound that led them to define a whole new genre, even if some of the rest of the record veers into ambient and "regular" rave.
Before Myths, the Klaxons released a total of four different singles, all of which are found on the release. Inspiration and imagination can be seen right across the first two, "Gravity’s Rainbow" and "Atlantis to Interzone". On "Rainbow", the mix of erratic and simpler dance beats is far more elaborate and rewarding than today’s indie-dance, while its upbeat tone distinguishes it from the rave of the last millennium; it is the perfect representation of "new rave". "Interzone" blows those ideas to a whole other level, with an incredibly pressing dance beat and lo-fi shouts that make you want to get up and move as fast as you can. Even the titles are inventive, referencing the complex and very original works of the complex and very original authors Thomas Pynchon and William Burroughs, respectively.
Unfortunately, no band could keep up that full-tilt pace, and the latter two singles, "Magick" and "Golden Skans", aren’t quite as amazing. "Magick" has a great mix of pressing verse and slow breakdown chorus, but there’s not enough else in the song. "Golden Skans" shifts more to the ambient-pop, or "epic" dance, sadder and less pressing. While excellent as another facet to their sound, the ambient-pop is not as rewarding in-and-of itself, and Myths has a few other songs in that vein.
But there are still standout non-singles on Myths. "Forgotten Worlds" would hold such a place based on its catchy chorus, but the slow reverb verse is just a drag. The best new finds are the final two tracks, "It’s Not Over Yet" and "Four Horsemen of 2012". "Not Over" is the most truly indie song on the record, but still has the Klaxons’ rave-dance flavor. Perhaps only good as new rave, it’s great indie. The dark, but fun, "Four Horsemen of 2012" is the new rave at the end of the world, whenever it comes, with great distortion, both hi-fi and lo-.
On only the strength of "Gravity’s Rainbow" and "Atlantis to Interzone", the Klaxons overwhelmed their small tents at the Reading and Leeds Festivals last August (reportedly more were outside of the tent than in), with fans waving glo-sticks like it was 1999, and blowing klaxons like the near future was no myth. On only their four singles, The Klaxons were elevated to headlining NME’s indie-rave UK tour this February (and added to Coachella), and sold the entire tour out. Myths of the Near Future is not the genre-inventing release on the level of the "Gravity’s Rainbow" single, but rather the genre-defining compilation of tracks that solidifies the new dance floor they’ve made.