Back in 2007, French duo Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay unleashed their debut album †, giving freshers week a new anthem with 'D.A.N.C.E', making dancefloors tremble under the colossal buzzing bassline of 'Waters of Nazareth' and providing the perfect soundtrack should a zombie apocalypse ever arise with 'Stress'.
What's the logical progression for album two then? '70s prog-rock and '80s hair-metal, of course! Indeed, Audio, Video, Disco compounds Justice's predilection for distorted disco with the classic rock of yore, and it's not necessarily a bad thing.
Opener 'Horsepower' is suitably bombastic, with squealing finger-tapped synthesised guitars and a motorbike-engine rumble of a riff. 'Ohio' marks the point where things get decidedly proggy with dreamy vocal harmonies, a laid-back funky vibe, and grown men singing "Ride on!". That's all before a squelching synth line that the Beastie Boys would be proud of crashes the party. 'Canon (Primo)' is a hilariously medieval pastoral intro to its bigger brother, an electro-metal behemoth which indulges midway in an arpeggiated solo as silly as it is brilliant.
Justice - Canon by FranklinP
From thereon out, Audio, Video, Disco is a poppier affair, lighter in tone than †. 'On'n'on's laid-back groove gives way to an epic final minute, but for the main part remains a strongly-constructed slice of funky pop, whilst the AC/DC-aping riff of 'Newlands' achieves a glam-rock swagger with its layering of classic guitar and throbbing synths. It's relentlessy catchy, if unlike anything Justice have done before, especially during its peak as a chugging lick provides the platform for a feel-good '80s stadium-rock solo. Just when it seems 'Parade' is about to drop something heavy with its stomping 'We Will Rock You' beat, it gives way to an anthemic lighters-in-the-air refrain; pleasant, if not what you might be expecting.
Justice - Newlands by FranklinP
To get the most from Audio, Video, Disco, listeners have to be willing to indulge in its sillier impulses. It's certainly not as 'cool' an album as † was, and not everyone will love this new Led Zeppelin-trapped-in-a-videogame direction, but for the most part Justice keep things on just the right side of ridiculous. And that includes Gaspard's handlebar 'tache.
- [mp3] 'Horsepower' - Justice
- [mp3] 'On'n'on' - Justice