Klaxons, Zola Jesus, Freelance Whales – This Week’s New Albums Reviewed

Laura Snapes rounds up the key albums released in the UK on Monday 23 August. Read our reviews by clicking on the headlines

Klaxons – ‘Surfing The Void’
There was always the worry with that the eventual product of Klaxons’ lengthy re-recording sessions would leave us wondering what could have been. Fortunately, ‘Surfing The Void’ is so fine, says Jamie Fullerton, that we should consider locking all young bands up in basements until they’ve learned how to write bangers like these.

Zola Jesus – ‘Stridulum II’
Gothy younglings: put away your Emily The Strange dolls, tear that photo of Florence from your coffin-shaped wardrobe, and stop drawing kohl pictures of Edward Vampireface on your exercise book. You have a new goddess, and her name is Zola Jesus, according to one Ben Hewitt…

Freelance Whales – ‘Weathervanes’
“This is me starring in a stranger’s nightmare,” sings Judah Dadone on ‘Starring’, one of many insights into the Freelance Whales singer’s twisted mind. Surprisingly though, says Dan Martin, for all its howling fantod-like visions, ‘Weathervanes’ slips by like a dream.

Minus The Bear – ‘Omni’
‘Omni’ deals a ferocious line in crisp math rock hooks, but Sam Rowe suggests you pack a sick bucket to deal with the Maroon 5-standard lyrical platitudes.

!!! – ‘Strange Weather Isn’t It?’
!!! haven’t had a year that warrants many exclamation marks, and you can tell, says Alex Hoban, as ‘Strange Weather Isn’t It?’ is a far more sombre, straight-up affair than the NYC punk-funkers usually trade in.

Herzog – ‘Search’
Chuck in a few references to weed, cats and sofas, and bam! There’s a slacker record right there. Cleveland native Nick Tolar, however, doesn’t even need to try that hard, says Huw Nesbitt of his ramshackle debut.

Magic Kids – ‘Memphis’
You’ve heard ‘Memphis’ in all its Beach Boys-gone C86 cute fuzz before, says Noel Gardner, but that doesn’t stop it being a perfectly amiable listen.

Eels – ‘Tomorrow Morning’
Mark “E” Everett being optimistic? What?! Indeed, says Hardeep Phull, ‘Tomorrow Morning’ is Eels’ most lovely, optimistic record in years.

The Count & Sinden – ‘Mega Mega Mega’
On paper, The Count & Sinden’s long-time-coming debut should be nothing but brill, what with its Katy B and Mystery Jets guest spots. However, despite being two years in the making, says Ailbhe Malone, ‘Mega Mega Mega’ fails to uphold the brilliance of its collaborators.

Wildbirds & Peacedrums – ‘Rivers’
The personnel listing on Wildbirds & Peacedrums’ latest reads like a who’s who in all that’s exciting and Nordic/Scandinavian – wintry composer and Bjork favourites, the Schola Cantorum Reykjavik Chamber Choir guest on what Chris Parkin judges a fine evolution.