Justice Strikes Again: Audio Video Disco

By Steven Jackson

Justice released its sophomore album earlier this week. About a year and a half ago, the French electro duo holed up in a Paris flat and set up a recording studio. “Audio Video Disco” is what they have to show for it. Creating the album was a long and arduous process, since band members Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay played every instrument and handled audio engineering by themselves.

Now for the album itself. After an initial listen, I was a bit disappointed. “Horsepower,” the opening track, starts off with a thunderous growl reminiscent of “Genesis,” but never quite delivers the power it seems to promise. “Audio Video Disco,” the title track, has an earworm melody with an infectious dance pulse, but it’s not on the same level as “Newjack” or “DVNO.”

The key to enjoying this album, I soon realized, is to accept that it’s just not “Cross.”

Come to terms with that, and you can appreciate “Audio Video Disco” for what it is: A solid electro album with three or four single-worthy tracks.

This album won’t blow out your speakers or your brains, and it certainly won’t change the electronic music scene in the same way that “Cross” did. But it’ll leave you humming its spiralling guitar riffs and prog-inspired vocal harmonies for a day or two, and several tracks will probably make it onto a Beloit dance party playlist in the near future. More importantly, this album is a courageous hybrid of techno and classic rock, and it mostly succeeds.

Tracks you definitely want to check out include “Civilization,” “Canon,” “On ’n’ on,” and “Audio Video Disco.” [Side note: check out the music video for “Civilization.” In describing it I am forced to use the word “epic,” which I try not to throw around.]



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