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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Midnight Juggernauts
Dystopia
Astralwerks

Rating: 8/10 ?


May 30, 2008
Midnight Juggernauts, like many of Australia's most recently notable musicians, rely on a substantial base of electronics to create their sound. Unlike their fellow countrymen The Scientists of Modern Music and The Avalanches, however, the Juggernauts do things slightly differently, infusing their music with a super retro touch. Welcome back to the 1970s dear friends, the electronic 70s, the Australian electronic 70s.

In an era when Tubeway Army, Gary Numan, Cybotron, and fellow historical icons of new wave are merely a distant memory, the need for a revival of the classic technological sound those artists helped create can indeed seem urgent, although at the same time perhaps not completely necessary. New wave was certainly groundbreaking when it first hit the musical landscape some three decades ago, but in the years since it hasn't aged too well. Very few acts of the post-millennium seem capable of adopting a true air of new wave without an accompanying ironic - or even, in the case of Flight of The Conchords, an overtly comedic - posture. Enter the Midnight Juggernauts.

Though they exclusively craft throw-backs to the decade of their biological inception, the trio - Vincent Vendetta, Andy Juggernaut, and Daniel Stricker - take what they do seriously; using the sounds of a bygone era and injecting them with beats that are very 2008, Midnight Juggernauts cook up a musical stew that actually tastes pretty darn good. Considering the precariousness of the line they walk and the possibility of complete failure that looms on either side, the Aussies exhibit a deft understanding of the difference between revivalism and revisionism. Not only does Dystopia show that they know what they're doing, it finds them doing it without irony, sarcasm, or pretension.

Beyond the simple tag of new wave, Dystopia is most concisely described as an album that is airy and cosmic, yet danceable to the max. With cuts like "Ending of an Era," "Into The Galaxy," and the album's title track, the Juggernauts imbue ready-to-rumble club sounds with the hyperbolic, Air-like weight of arena rocking anthems. It's no wonder that Parisian la saveur du jour Justice tapped the Australians for their North American tour last year.

The prospect of Midnight Juggernauts completely reviving the new wave scene is a long shot (perhaps thankfully so), but the trio has gone a long way toward proving that, when only the best parts are culled, the fairly dead genres of yore can, when bolstered by modern sounds, result in something beautiful and memorable.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg

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