Release Date: Jul 9, 2013
Record label: Record Makers
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Club/Dance
Named after a hypothesis formed by Japanese professor and roboticist Masahiro Mori, in the early 1970s,Uncanny Valley, the third album from electro-pop, rock band Midnight Juggernauts, sees the Australian trio successfully meld sci-fi grandeur, giallo film score aesthetics, kaleidoscopic psychedelic pop and dance floor euphoria. The title concerns itself with the comfort level of humans towards robots or CGI images that move and appear human-like. The object may look stunningly authentic, but the spectator knows something is amiss.
Six years ago, Tame Impala’s touring buddies were a breath of fresh air, their Ed Banger synths and prog tendencies fitting perfectly with their times. But the world has moved on, and Midnight Juggernauts haven’t. That’s no crime – their mix of cosmic electronics, live drums and winsome vocals remains pleasingly woozy, and their songwriting knack is evident on the rolling chords of ‘Memorium’ and the rousing chorus of ‘Ballad Of The War Machine’.
There’s little about Midnight Juggernauts that doesn’t ooze the aura of a spaced out cosmic stroll. ‘Uncanny Valley’ is exemplary of this. Presumably no accident, each song reverberates with a sedate out of this earth feel complete with twinkling synths, hushed vocals and universal echo. The album builds and flows well – sort of like an intergalactic journey – but the astronomical tinge grows tiring.
Damn you, Daft Punk. The shadow cast from the triumph known as Random Access Memories is likely to put any other electropop release to shame this year, so is it Midnight Juggernauts’ fault if their new album struggles to generate much interest, let alone repeat listens? How do you compete with that? If a band desires a spot on the dance floor these days, the entrance fee is steeper than ever. With the dynamism, nostalgia and sheer scope of M83’s brilliant Hurry Up We’re Dreaming in 2011 and Daft Punk’s latest, it’s a sin to bore your audience.