They’re back and they bought the goods with them (the super, uber, mind-blowingly fantastic goods). With the release of Midnight Juggernauts’ third full-length album, Uncanny Valley comes an unscalable wall of expectations. In meeting these, they have produced a union of systematic restraint and melodic flourishing. It’s all a gnarly arrangement of spacious techno, psychedelic swells and funky undercurrents that leaves you with a taste of great innovation. Taking just enough steps in the right direction has ensured progression, whilst maintaining their old school style, resulting in Uncanny Valley being a cosmic, bombastic sound wave that will quake through your body like a sonic one-night-stand.
The record oozes vocals laden with a stylistic change that is both new and welcomed. Intended for a full album listening experience, Uncanny Valley is reminiscent of an all-encompassing DJ set, rife with spiraling sonic drama and impenetrable bass lines. The album was recorded in a church in the Loire Valley, France, with band members assuming the role of recluse. This isolation has translated into musicality with moments of sheer spaciousness that are hypnotically consuming. The overall sound is ominous, however retains a dream-like quality. Vincent Vendetta’s dark sonorous vocals are well matched with lavish instrumentation, both presenting booming reverberations.
The record opens with “HCL”, an eerie sound awash in twangs of techno. The build is instantly intoxicating and Vendetta’s chimerical euphony carries you through. The chorus is the perfect poppy peak amidst obscure melodies and upbeat rhythms. “Deep Blue Lines” has a reoccurring undercurrent that gets into your veins and a beat that is hard to shake. Suggestive of works from Dystopia (2007) and The Crystal Axis (2010), “Deep Blue Lines” exudes all the tell tale characteristics of old school Juggernauts (in a damn good way). The record closes with “Melodiya”, an almost dark Tropicana number with a drum sequence that rattles around in your head. The perfect end to a hell of journey. Uncanny Valley adapts to the ever-changing world of electronica/techno (whatever you want to call it). Midnight Juggernauts have concocted their own sonic species that sits just outside definition and oozes all things innovation. Kudos to Daniel Stricker, Vendetta and Andrew Szekeres for devising an expansive soundscape of druggy familiarity. Resistance is futile.