By Eric Sanchez |Staff Writer|
Back in 2007, just like every high school kid with a laptop, I wanted to be a DJ.
Instead of doing my homework, I was surfing the blogosphere for anything and everything new and danceable, and leading the charge of the new French house wave was Justice.
Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay first gained recognition for their work under the name Justice with their remix of the now disbanded Simian’s “Never Be Alone” the year prior.
They followed that up with † (Cross), their first LP with such hits as “D.A.N.C.E.” and “DVNO”, and once those tracks started to hit the local Forever 21’s playlist, Justice was just about a household name. A house full of teenagers that is.
After that, their new-found fans were pretty much left waiting for another album to hear at the club and local house party.
Though they toured extensively and won a Grammy for their remix of MGMT’s “Electric Feel”, a new album wasn’t even in the rumor mill until relatively recently.
Finally, Audio, Video, Disco comes out today, and for Justice fans it’s about time.
By the looks of all the touring that was featured on their documentary “A Cross, the Universe,” Gaspard and Xavier more than likely have fancied themselves as rock stars way before they decided to finally work on this album, and it shows.
Their sophomore release offers up more of an “I’m in high school and I’m into Megadeth” type of vibe than the cutting edge coolness of Cross.
Apart from a few slightly memorable tracks, Audio, Video, Disco is full of filler. And that filler is full of medieval melodies and guitar riffs on a (probably) newly-bought Fender.
I will say that “Canon” caught my attention with an interesting synth/bass melody that made my little Yaris’ speakers work.
The album’s first single, “Civilization,” featured the vocals of British singer Ali Love and sounded like it was describing a massive end-all battle straight out of the book of Revelation. This homage to the Bible went with the same theme as Cross, which began with the songs “Genesis” and “Let There Be Light.”
Aside from those few reminiscent moments, listening to this album made me feel like an outsider listening in on the duo’s current infatuation with bland American rock music.
Even before listening to the album, I took a look at the track listing online and noticed that the album’s title track was the last one. I’m usually accustomed to hearing a title track (if there is one) up near the beginning, so I was excited to see that Justice had saved their epic title track to end with a bang, and maybe even a prophetic look into the future of dance music, right?
“Audio, Video, Disco” disappointed like the vast majority of the album. Actually, it embittered me even more when I realized that this was it.
Uninspired usage of synthesizers and mixes with less-than-danceable bass lines that only deceivingly resemble what made you a titan in the dance world is like a slap in the face.
Justice should have just stuck with what made their fans happy, like their first album (but with more interesting musical ideas) because now I believe not too many people will be interested in hearing their third.
Maybe this album as a whole was Justice’s prophecy — a look into a time when rockers, ravers and hipsters are united together under one banner of mediocre music.
Here’s the gist of Audio, Video, Disco