There must be something in the water down under. With acts such as Tame Impala, Jagwar Ma and the returning Midnight Juggernauts, there seems to be an endless stream of good music coming out of Australia.
Maybe it’s the endless good weather that is inspiring all of this psych tinged electro indie, who knows? Whatever it is, the Aussies seem to be doing something right.
Uncanny Valley sees Midnight Juggernauts return with their third album, and first since 2010’s “The Crystal Axis”. A record which won the Best Independent Dance Album at the Australian Independent Record Awards, so not exactly an easy act to follow. However, the electronica trio gave it a good go.
If there is one thing the LP has a lot of, it is very catchy hooks, making it more accessible than the bands previous two efforts. Tracks such as ‘Sugar and Bullets’ make the album easy listening, with its club dance beat, glittering synths and instantly memorable chorus, making it one of the stand out tracks of the album. ‘Balled of the War Machine’ is equally impressive, but with a slower more haunting feel, based around eerie electronic sounds and hushed vocals.
The record takes influence from many eras of electronica, to create quite a futuristic sound, with penultimate track ‘Another Land’ being a prime example of this. The song takes aspects of 80’s dark synth pop acts such as Depeche Mode and New Order, and combines it with their own “space prog” vibe to create a sound quite distinctive from the rest of the record.
‘Uncanny Valley’ is in no shortage of catchy songs, however its problem is the overwhelming use of synths throughout every single song. There really is enough electronica to cause a lifetime of headaches. With ‘Master of Gold’s‘ intro of acoustic guitar, soaked to the bone in reverb, there is a feeling of the music taking a slightly different direction. However that feeling is short lived (around five seconds to be precise), as it is followed by (you guessed it) synth, synth and more synth, making it exactly the same as just about every other track on the album.
The sounds achieved on this album are quite futuristic and spacey, and it is definitely their most impressive to date. However, there is still something missing from it, and if there is one thing we can take from it, it is some valuable advice for astronauts. If this is what music from space sounds like, make sure you take some CDs, or you’re going to get very bored.
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