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Best of the 00s: Klaxons, Les Savy Fav & The Libertines

Posted by September 14th, 2012 No Comments »

Best of the 00s: Gabe Joins the 21st Century
Part 25: Klaxons, Les Savy Fav & The Libertines
By Gabe Baker & Matt Ashworth

Nada Co-founders Matt and Gabe are listening to 197 of the music press’s picks for “best albums of the 00s” for a series called Gabe Joins the 21st Century.

Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future (2007)
#24 on NME’s List

Gabe: This album is like an indie rock take on Coast to Coast A.M. with Art Bell, the legendary late night radio call-in show focused on aliens, time travel, and all things paranormal. I’d hazard a guess that one or more of the band members is obsessed with literary science fiction, as references to Ballard and Pynchon suffuse the album. The music is dancey indie rock that reminds me of LCD Soundsystem, but only because all dancey indie rock reminds me of LCD Soundsystem. Although the album is uneven, the peaks – like on the delirious should-have-been-hit “Golden Skans” – sound like supersonic soul music for the space age. Grade: Like

Matt: I like the groove they lay down on the first song “Two Receivers” but the vocals ruin it. “Atlantis To Interzone” starts crazy and stays that way, and Gabe’s right: “Golden Skans” is a catchy tune. And I guess “It’s Not Over Yet” is kind of nice too. But I can’t listen to more than a few songs at a time without getting really annoyed. Perhaps I’m just too old for the type of industrial-strength caucaphony leveraged by Primal scream, My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult and the Klaxons. Myths of the Near Future is just a little too “wacky British dance party fun!” for my tastes. Grade: DNL

The Libertines The LibertinesThe Libertines – The Libertines (2004)
#24 on NME’s List

Matt: I’d hoped a second dipping of The Libertines 2004 album would connect me to the record a bit more but, alas, a big swing and a miss on that. It turns out that I like the idea of the Libertines – British hooligan drug addicts with raw talent making spirited pub rock that’s been tastefully presented with the help of my idol Mike Jones of the Clash more than I like their actual music, which, incidentally isn’t bad, it’s just nothing you haven’t already heard before done better. Grade: LIKE

Gabe: I suspect Pete Doherty may be one of those English things that doesn’t translate into American. At least not for me. (Other notable examples: jellied eels, cricket, Mark E. Smith.) With an amatuerish punk sound, witty lyrics about drug abuse and disillusion, and angry young man attitude, The Libertines should be right in my wheel house. But they are not.  The songs, with the notable exceptions of the doo wop stylings of “What Katie Did” and the wasted youth and lost friends anthem “What Became of the Likely Lads”, just don’t grab me. Grade: DNL

Les Savy Fav - Lets Stay FriendsLes Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends (2007)    
#42 on NadaMucho.com’s List

Matt: I just absolutely adore this album and am glad I put it on Nada’s list of the best albums of the last decade so that I could make Gabe listen to it. It’s the New York City band’s fourth and it’s funny and smart and clever and a bit mean and it just rocks nonstop without ever sounding too much like itself. From the first words “There was a band, called The Pots & Pans / They made this noice, people couldn’t stand” it’s interesting and engaging and totally awesome. Plus “The Equestrian” and “Rage in the Plague Age” are two of the top five rock songs we’ve yet encountered in this project. Say that reminds me, I really should check out the rest of their albums. Grade: LOVE

Gabe: After my first listen, I thought this was an easy one. A nice dirty rock album with big riffs and punk attitude, that fails to break any new ground. Mark it off as a “LIKE,” and move on. But something kept me coming back. Maybe it was the McCluskey-style muscular rock on “Raging in the Plague Age.”  Maybe it was the spacey Built to Spill vibe on “Brace Yourself.” Certainly it was the Television-esque “Patty Lee.” (Why don’t more bands rip off Television’s sound, by the way?  Marquee Moon hits such a sweet spot of glam, pop, and classic rock  is the sound that hard to duplicate?) But most of all, it must have been the way the album crescendoes with a series of just great songs. From the boy/girl vocals “Kiss Kiss is Getting Old” and “Comes & Goes” to the monster power pop chorus on the “The Lowest Bitter,” the album ends with the band finding its own voice. Also, the album totally rocks, and they are now near the top of my “must see live asap” list. Grade: LOVE

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