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Midnight Juggernauts, ‘Dystopia’ (Astralwerks)

On this Aussie trio’s debut, the best bits, like the fuzzy, organ-driven “Ending of an Era,” with its deadpan vocals and feedback guitar, or “Into the Galaxy,” with its melodic bass line, falsetto, and baroque synths, smartly channel Jeff Lynne’s cosmopop confections, a good model for how to fold dance music back into rock. Dimmer moments, like the title track, overdo the Major Tom–on-E shtick, while “Road to Recovery” and “Nine Lives” sound like Justice if those dudes played “real” instruments. (Unsurprisingly, the French duo are big fans.) Once the annoying vocoder-rock of “Tombstone” kicks in, you remember that all dystopias start out with the best intentions.

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Tags: Albums