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Album: Klaxons, Surfing the Void (Polydor)

The curse of the Mercury Prize strikes again!

This follow-up to Klaxons' prize-winning 2007 debut Myths of the Near Future has suffered a tortuous incubation, with sessions produced by Tony Visconti and Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford both being abandoned, and the band's initial efforts rejected by their record label as "too experimental". Which makes the label's acceptance of these 10 tracks all the more staggering: awash in dense layers of guitar and keyboard noise shredded by distortion, and garlanded with the kind of sci-fi phraseology even Muse and The Flaming Lips would consider excessively kitsch ("celestial catastrophe", "myriads of silver discs", "venusia peculiar", etc), it's just so much sound and fury signifying nothing, presented in a brittle, shrill manner that renders it virtually unlistenable. Far and away – no pun intended – the worst album I've heard all year.