It is finally here, the long-awaited second album of Justice. Read my review after the jump.
The super famous duo of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay, collectively known as Justice, has been around since the early 2000s, creating crazy mash-ups of popular electronic tracks with rock songs and rocking clubs all over France. In 2007 the duo released their first album, † (Cross), which received critical acclaim for its very aggressive and dark sound. Justice’s incorporation of heavy rock influence and indie image was very apparent in the album, where going to their shows was more like attending a moshpit filled rock concert than the usual groovin’, dancin’, and smokin’ electronic concert. After a number of EPs and singles, the duo has finally released their follow-up album, to the delight of many, like me.
Audio, Video, Disco was described by Xavier de Rosnay as a lighter album, compared to the first one. The tracks in the album generally are a lot less aggressive feeling than †, and it has not won me over. Audio, Video, Disco still has Justice’s rock influenced blood running through its veins, but not the same heavy rock that was present in their previous album. This rather feels more of the great 70s prog-rock of old.
The album features much more collaborations than its predecessor. Single track Civilization features the vocals of Ali Love, which kind of just goes along its progression where I wasn’t too pumped for any sections. Ohio, which features Vincent Vendetta of Midnight Juggernauts, really gave me the feel of that 70s progressive rock sound they were going for. There were parts where it sounded like Queen and Led Zeppelin. New Lands features guitar-like synthesizer lines that might have been heard before in a Journey song.
Canon is a solid one that sits in the middle of the tracklist, featuring a folky prog-rock intro that goes into a Daft Punk-esque vocoder lines and punches. Horsepower is a great opener for the album that feels like it could be the intro song of some TV show. The approach of it feels like Genesis from †, but just not as brooding and evil sounding. And Helix is just a cool guitar rhythmically chopping away at chords going through different distortions and effects. The instrumental tracks know how to rock it in this album.
Audio, Video, Disco is like daytime, whereas † is nighttime. There is an obvious difference here as Justice’s sophomore album just lacks that force that the previous one had. The messy, unmetered distortion and the buildups to a huge drop of the beats were what I really enjoyed on †. Its crass personality made it one of my favorite electronic albums in recent years. I was a bit bummed that the French duo altered their direction with this album. However this just seems like a natural step forward for their sound.