Wednesday, July 10, 2013

REVIEW: Midnight Juggernauts - Uncanny Valley

Is seems to me that when an album is named for a phenomena relating to a certain point on the continuum on which humans' affinity for robots turns to revulsion as robots appear most human, there is a good chance that the band thinks carefully about the details.  And while electro-pop is, for me, a genre usually enjoyed in bursts of several songs rather than full length albums, I was intrigued enough to give Uncanny Valley by Melbourne's Midnight Juggernauts a chance.  What I learned is that, indeed, this is a band that is good at the details.  The ten tracks of eminently danceable pop contains bright hooks, lush backgrounds, driving rhythms and hazy vocals.  The emotional temperature varies been eastern bloc icy (there is a bit of a Soviet fixation that I haven't had the inclination to probe), but the balance of elements is perfect throughout.  What is even more remarkable is that the album seems to have a depth of time to its sonic palette.  By that I mean that I hear touches of old analog disco and new wave pop with the more modern dance features.  Perhaps Midnight Juggernauts' practice of using traditional rock instruments and playing them through pedals, samplers and other effects contributes is partially responsible, but I'll stick with my thesis that this trio pays attention to the details.  In my view Uncanny Valley should be on the 2013 "essential" list for electro-pop fans, but is recommended for anyone with an interest in the genre.

I believe that this video for "Sugar and Bullets" was created by a fan.  The track will prompt your feet to move completely unbidden:

Midnight Juggernauts - Sugar and Bullets from Ava Yutsuko on Vimeo.

Here the lads indulge their Soviet bloc hobby --

Uncanny Valley is the third LP from Midnight Juggernauts in seven years.  Recorded in France and Australia, it was released this week via Paris, France label Record Makers.

Record Makers

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