Our first impressions of Justice’s second LP
Dance’s music’s sexiest duo know that the facelessness of much of the genre demands something more than a bald bloke that looks like a sack of tatties bobbing away maniacally behind a laptop. You need hot boys in black leather jackets, and a fat heap of bosh.
Rumours of a rockier prediction for Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay’s follow-up to the monolithic ‘Cross’ prove to be very much true, but thankfully there’s no risk of things ending up a bit guitar-face and serious. They might know the value of the rock’n’roll image, but they’re far too smart to buy into it completely.
Makes exactly the sort of comedy mechanoid monster-movie entrance you’d expect, planting its great boshy feet with earth-shaking aplomb and spilling your tea all over the shop. Immediately establishes a ritzy, ’70s, proggy sort of feel that persists throughout the album. If this song had legs, they’d be heavily muscled and clad in lamé.
Thanks to that adidas ad, all I can think of when I listen to this song is the psychotic look that Katy Perry has on her face when she rehearses her dance moves. She may be all cupcakes and eyelashes, but she’ll eat your liver raw in front of your dying eyes if you hamper her choreography, bitch. Anyway, the moment just before the chorus where the song shifts into a different gear and hit-and-runs your brain is still absolutely fucking amazing. As is the deployment of The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’. Justice have more right to sample The Who than most guitar bands around, let’s face it. This song is so good that the fact that it’s Ali Love on vocals doesn’t even matter.
Midnight Juggernauts’ Vincent Vendetta sings the names of US states in multi-tracked harmony for no apparent reason over a groovy little number that bumbles merrily along in Basement Jaxx/Nightmare On Wax fashion. It’s a little bit Hed Kandi chillout comp. Well, right up until they crack out that ridiculous, tasteless squelching sound. Crisis averted!
This actually makes me snort with laughter every time I hear it. A medieval-theme restaurant madrigal opening moves into some sweaty, dirty guitar and great fat synth riffs. It’s like an episode of Gladiators. It’s like a monster truck. Is the title a pun about the rock canon, and how they’re storming it with their sequencers? I kind of hope so, but who cares, really – it’s all about the stomping.
Daft Punk plays the hits of Led Zep with assistance from more multitracked progtastic vocals from Morgan Phalen of Diamond Nights. I’m pretty sure Justice could get most people they wanted to do guest vox on their record, so the fact they’ve stuck with like-minded “who?” collaborators rather than get the eye-drawing big names in is pretty cool.
This one drops the ball slightly, being a more mid-paced and altogether less ridiculous proggy meander. The idea of prog is fine; actual prog is not. Not ever.
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Much more satisfying, a jagged, rigid synth riff supporting a plaintive, Tomorrow’s World-utopian melody. Should be soundtracking footage of super-efficient robot factories and futuristic feminist childcare centres on an advert for your bright and shining future as a colonist on a silver city in the Sea Of Tranquility.
Mr Phalen makes a reappearance for this robo-Who strutter, cock-rock in cyber-space. Two breakdowns, both completely ludicrous. The chorus might sound more like “Eunice” than “Newlands” but if there’s one thing better than cyber cock-rock, its cyber cock-rock dedicated to old ladies.
So high-energy it’s liable to produce involuntary star-jumps and stomach crunches. ELO get funky and go for the burn with Jennifer Beals. And everyone’s wearing sweatbands.
‘Audio, Video, Disco’
Neatly summing up all of the album’s disparate touchstones (medieval fantasy, The Who, massive killer robots, prog) up in its first 30 seconds, the album’s romping second single makes for a neat closer, its suitably brainless title summing up the nature of Justice entirely. They’re not clever. They’re not original. They’re not dark. They are silly. And fun. And they have, how you say? Ze big bollocks.
For all their kiss-my-shades cool, it’s great to someone not messing about and just getting on with making big, stupid party tunes. Like Kasabian with keyboards.