Mon. May 27th, 2024

Renowned For Sound

For the latest music reviews and interviews

Album Review: Midnight Juggernauts – Uncanny Valley

2 min read

Once hailed darlings of the indie-dance scene, Midnight Juggernauts have fallen somewhat off the radar in recent years. Their 2007 debut album Dystopia was a huge hit, shooting the Melbourne band to fame in a relatively new genre with the likes of The Presets, Cut Copy and Pnau. Their second album, The Crystal Axis (released in 2010), was an even bigger hit, winning Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album at the ARIAs. So their third album, Uncanny Valley, must be amazing, right?

MidnightJuggernautsUncannyValleyThe best way I can describe Uncanny Valley is that it is whimsically melodic sci-fi electronica. Midnight Juggernauts have really grown as a band since their indie-dance days, and have forged their own path rather than following trends. The title of this album refers to the revulsion that occurs when technology recreates humanness to near perfection, and the band seem to have really taken this on board, because their music sounds anything but human. This is both a good thing and a bad thing though.

Uncanny Valley opens with the track HCL, and it is this track that serves as a blueprint for the entire album, immediately catching your attention with its repetitive synths, exquisite melodics, and punchy chorus. The record then takes us on a journey through catchy 60s style dance tracks such as Memorium, Sugar and Bullets and Systematic to relaxed, easy listening tracks such as Ballad of the War Machine, to the darker tracks that lay in between, all of which sound both futuristic and reminiscent of a by-gone era at the same time.

The three years between this album and The Crystal Axis were not wasted, with the band scoring a number of films which appears to have enhanced not only their song writing abilities, but also their understanding of the importance of storytelling. The thing that really holds this album together is its impeccable flow. Whilst their previous albums, fantastic in their own rights, seem to have just been a collection of hits, the songs on this album are all tied together brilliantly, flowing perfectly from one to another and building into this uplifting finale in the track Melodiya.

This being said, however, you can’t help but feel like you’ve just listened to almost 45 minutes of the same thing by the end of this album, due mainly to the overwhelming use of synth in every single track. Master of Gold offers some very brief respite with its acoustic guitar intro, but this lasts literally 19 seconds before the synth takes over once again.

Uncanny Valley is a seamless exploration into the intergalactic future and an ode to rockers of the past. Midnight Juggernauts have left their days of jerky, staccato vocals and sweaty, thumping rhythms behind and now leaves listeners with the relaxed impression that they’ve just been at an interstellar cocktail party in the 1960’s.

Buy ‘Midnight Juggernauts – Uncanny Valley’ from Amazon