They know how to get attention
At times on "Myths of the Near Future," the debut album by the London quartet Klaxons, the synths' wail is so siren-like you sense there may be an emergency. And there is, kind of. Their imperative seems to be to have fun now — even, as it turns out, if you're American.
"Your audiences seem to be a bit more French," singer-bassist Jamie Reynolds says as the band passes the halfway point in a U.S. tour that takes it to the Ex-Plex in Echo Park on Saturday night and eventually to the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 29. "They watch a bit more closely. They want to understand exactly what's going on."
It's strange alchemy, that's what. Songs such as "Golden Skans" and "Gravity's Rainbow" bounce blissfully with the same deconstructed glee as the indie rock of Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse. The Klaxons' cinematic, David Bowie-inspired stomp even spurred one of their early backers to coin a new genre, "nu rave."
"We find that very funny. But it seems you have to invent something to get the media to run around and call it," Reynolds says. "Somebody even said it was 'acid-rave sci-fi punk-funk.' I just call it a bit weird."
With an assist from the police
Less than a week until Test Your Reflex unveils its debut album, "The Burning Hour," and the Thousand Oaks-bred quintet is having a bad day. A really bad day.
"I'm sitting outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Kingman, Ariz., in my pajamas," reports frontman Ryan Levine, who is not kidding. "We're stranded because our driver took off with our tour van and all our gear."
Police were summoned, the driver was apprehended and the band played its show Tuesday night in Las Vegas with borrowed equipment. Less adventurous, the band hopes, will be shows opening for Electric Six tonight at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano and Friday at the Key Club. For now, though, this was not how Levine imagined the build-up to Test Your Reflex's big day. "It's pretty insane," he says.
The album, a tuneful if over-polished paean to some of the epic bands of the '80s, was two years in the making, as Levine and mates Sal Cortez, Agustin Sanchez, Andrew Ampaya and the guitarist who goes simply by Clark honed the chops that saw their first drill at the Thousand Oaks Teen Center.
"Some things about making the record were more fun than others, but the sound was there from the beginning," Levine says. "U2, Peter Gabriel, the Cure, Duran Duran — their records were huge to me. They're icons, and you respect them not just musically but because of their careers."
Those careers might have included some ups and downs too, even if Levine has a hard time imagining it on this day: "Your driver taking off on you while you're eating buttermilk pancakes — now that's something else."
Touts: Orange County's Limbeck brings its mood-elevating twang to the Troubadour, where it opens for Hot Rod Circuit.... Tonight at Bordello, the Fold — the talent booker that Tuesday marked its 10th anniversary with a not-so-secret Silversun Pickups set at the Silverlake Lounge — mounts a Syd Barrett tribute. Some 21 artists will perform a Barrett song apiece.... The Autumns play the Roxy on Friday.... British art-rockers Art Brut visit the Troubadour on Saturday with a batch of new songs following up its 2005 debut, "Bang Bang Rock & Roll." ... And Tom Morello, as the Nightwatchman, has resumed his Tuesday night residency at the Hotel Café.
— Kevin Bronson
Watch the video for the Klaxons' "Golden Skans" at www.geffen.com/artist/player/default.aspx?mid=3009&aid=452&bhcp=1.
Stream "Pieces of the Sun" and "I'm Not Sorry" by Test Your Reflex at www.myspace.com/testyourreflexCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times