“The Crystal Axis” – Midnight Juggernauts (Joint Review)
Midnight Juggernauts are an Australian electro-pop/alternative band that have made a name for themselves with there great live performances and steady airplay on Australian radio station Triple J. I loved their debut album and accompanying EP’s, though I hadn’t really heard much of their new stuff until earlier this year at their Melbourne BDO set, which was one of my favourite performances of the day. The new songs they played didn’t standout but sounded interesting and I was from then on in intrigued about what direction the new album would take.
The band has been on the verge of becoming big worldwide, but despite the release of two solid EP’s and a very enjoyable debut album, they have yet to make their mark. “The Crystal Axis”, as you will find out, is an extremely solid follow-up album from a really good band, my counterpart may disagree but I think it’s close to rivaling their debut, “Dystopia”.
Okay, so my impressions of the album after listening to the first five songs was along the lines of, “Best. Album. Ever.”, sadly though the second half is the albums downfall. Where “Dystopia” had songs like ‘Tombstone’ and ‘So Many Frequencies’, which made the album great from start right up to it’s finish. Overall, I think “The Crystal Axis” has a higher average standard of songs, but what sets “Dystopia” is it’s best songs. They are scattered throughout the album and I don’t think “The Crystal Axis” follows the same formula.
The band has built on “Dystopia” and tried to subtly evolve their sound. It has worked, in that from second one you can tell that it’s a Midnight Juggernauts album, without it being Dystopia Mark-II. In a way they’re playing in safe by writing an album like this, but I think they were just trying to make the best album they could and I think, for the most part, they have. Often bands that made great first albums, make horrible second albums but Midnight Juggernauts have made an album that has almost rivaled their debut.
So, enough talk about “Dystopia”.
“The Crystal Axis” is an album that peaks to early, and this is the only thing I don’t like about. It has some of the best songs that Midnight Juggernauts have ever written and is extremely fun to listen to. I know my counterpart disagrees with me and even went as far as saying it “is almost an insulting follow-up from Dystopia“. I for one think it is exactly what I was hoping for, yes, it hasn’t really reached their potential but, I don’t think they ever will to be totally honest.
Boasting some amazing tracks, ‘Lara Versus The Savage Pack’ and ‘Vital Signs’ are obvious standouts, both are incredibly catchy and are expertly written. There are other great moments in the album, but these two songs are just brilliant and any band would kill to have the chance to write them.
Perhaps they didn’t make the album they needed for them to reach the next level, but they’ve made an album that is really an album that I think sits well and will continue to sit well in the Midnight Juggernauts discography.
“The Crystal Axis” is catchy, fun and is overall a very solid album, with not too much wrong about it. I know my counterpart doesn’t agree, but again, I think it almost rivals “Dystopia”. I would recommend it to any fan of the band, more than likely you will enjoy it. I’m going to give it an even 8/10 just because for me it only just reaches the level that constitutes being a really good album. As a whole I was both impressed and energised by this electronic Australian album…
Reviewers Pick: “Lara Versus The Savage Pack”
Stand-out Tracks: “Lara Versus The Savage Pack”, “Vital Signs”, “Lifeblood Flow”, “This New Technology”