“The Crystal Axis” is Midnight Juggernauts’ second album, their first since “Dystopia” launched the Australian trio into a vortex of global intrigue.
For those who arrived late, Andrew Szekeres, Vincent Vendetta and Daniel Stricker had pursued an organic course through multiple indie EPs, singles, and retro-futurist videos before they found themselves hailed as de facto pioneers of a perceived new frontier of “indie-dance” circa 2007/08.
But the infinite unknowns of musical imagination will always make light of such musty generic pigeonholes. As a band that has always tried to push itself and evolve, Midnight Juggernauts opted to take a more unpredictable approach to their second album and explore a few new tangents.
Ground zero for “The Crystal Axis” was live experimentation. Having spent much of 2008 satisfying a raging hunger on the worldwide stage, from Australia’s “Big Day Out” to “Coachella”, “Fuji Rock”, Glastonbury, and the “Montreaux Jazz Festival”, the Juggernauts were bristling with the kind of intuitive performance chemistry that demands spontaneous creativity.
In early 2009, they wired themselves into a house on a remote stretch of coastal New South Wales in Australia. After several weeks of negotiating grand synth-operas, droned out psych-rock sojourns and groove based jams (yet never relying on a 4/4 beat), the band emerged with a large collection of songs ripe for recording at Melbourne’s Sing Sing Studios. Befitting the DIY ethic of their self-owned and operated Siberia label, they again opted to self-produce, with engineer Chris Moore (TV on the Radio, Yeasayer, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars) facilitating.
Spawning the singles “This New Technology”, “Vital Signs”, “Lifeblood Flow” and “Lara Versus The Savage Pack”, “The Crystal Axis” is an album that relentlessly forges its own path. Constantly veering from percussive, hypnotic grooves to luxuriant jams via rich morricone esque textural diversions, walls of sound, and 70s AM melodic forks, the record maps a 50-minute symphony of synth-rock invention.
Taking the sounds of “The Crystal Axis” to a global audience, Midnight Juggernauts have spent much of 2010 touring across Australia, Europe, North America, South America and Asia. From Benicassim Festival in Spain to the Bowery Ballroom in New York, from Roundhouse in London to ZoukOut Festival in Singapore, Midnight Juggernauts can rightfully lay claim to being one of Australia's finest exports.
Photo Credit: Cybele Malinowski
“The future of music is safe in the hands of Midnight Juggernauts, surely Australia’s most daring and interesting band.”
"Knotty arrangements of alternately poppy and moody tunes suggest Pink Floyd gone new wave; chugging guitars skank around gloriously garish mellotron choirs and cosmic Moog ooze."
“Midnight Juggernauts can take you somewhere pretty special.”