Second album syndrome seems to affect more than a few bands. It seems to have become a particular problem in lieu of all the bands following The Strokes precedent in 2001. Indeed, their second album was not what one would call a success (though this writer liked it alot).

And so, today, saw the premiere of two tracks by two different bands, both of which offer an insight into what we might expect from their respective sophomore efforts.

Firstly, in a move not entirely unforeseen, MGMT’s new track, “Flash Delirium” appeared, and underwhelms in a major way. Gone is the excitement, the big choruses, the feeling of not knowing what might happen next. In its place is something that seems quite derivitive. The duo sounds different. Likethey didn’t really have an idea of what they wanted and went for a little bit of everything.

The track exemplifies what guitarist Ben Goldwasser told last month. He said:”There definitely isn’t a “Time To Pretend” or a “Kids” on the album. We’ve been talking about ways to make sure people hear the album as an album in order and not just figure out what are the best three tracks, download those and not listen to the rest of it.”

If “Flash Delirium” is any sign of things to come, then Congratulations, when it appears in April, may go down as another victim of the second album syndrome.

Conversely, New Young Pony Club’s new track, “Chaos”, shimmers in ways that were not foreseen. The band were victim of the nu-rave scene of 2007 which has already claimed the career of Klaxons. NYPC would not have been on many people’s new album list at the start of the year, but this track points to an album full of great surprises.

The Optimist was released yesterday and is a darker affair than many would have expected. Remember though, that this is a band famed for “ice Cream”- hardly the most heart-on-sleeve moment in indie music of the past decade, so even a curse word would perhaps be the band moving in a darker direction.

New Young Pony Club- Chaos

MGMT- Flash Delirium