Morrow vs. Hajduch

Morrow vs. Hajduch: Justice’s Audio, Video, Disco

Scott Morrow is ALARM’s music editor. Patrick Hajduch is a very important lawyer. Each week they debate the merits of a different album.

Justice: Audio, Video, DiscoJustice: Audio, Video, Disco (Ed Banger, 10/25/11)

Hajduch: When Justice emerged in 2007 with , it signaled the logical end of Daft Punk‘s arena-house takeover. Chunky Ratatat riffs and absurdly compressed samples, all blown out as loud as possible — it was a tacky 4/4 onslaught that just made absolute sense. Justice was a “rock band” inasmuch as it was loud and had black leather jackets (and maybe lip-synched?) and made dance music that was very clearly informed by the trashier end of the rock-and-roll spectrum.

So now it’s 2011 and the sophomore release is out. For the talk about it being more baroque/prog/(insert term of choice denoting “wanky” here), it doesn’t sound like much else but another Justice album. Every song sounds at least a little bit like Night on Bald Mountain, and everything is loud. Also, “Ohio” pretty clearly samples the throb from NIN‘s “Closer,” which is a really good choice.

Morrow: I like the Fantasia / Modest Mussorgsky association, but I think that those baroque elements are more pronounced. “Horsepower” puts the classical influence front and center, basically from the start of the disc, “Ohio” uses harpsichord flourishes, and “Canon” sounds like, well, the type of composition for which it’s named.

Of course, you’re right that the whole thing still sounds like Justice with its French electro sound and disco bits. But I would echo that it sounds less like future-ized funk and party jams and more like Johann Sebastian Bach writing simplified dance-floor burners (for fame and women, of course).

Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Q&A: Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Does It Offend You, Yeah?: Don't Say We Didn't Warn YouDoes It Offend You, Yeah?: Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You (The End / Cooking Vinyl, 3/15/11)

Does It Offend You, Yeah?: “We Are The Dead”

[audio:|titles=Does It Offend You, Yeah?: “We Are The Dead”]

Following its debut in 2008, Does It Offend You, Yeah? challenged Virgin Records’ ideas for its music, and the frustration caused by demanding executives and mainstream models is evident in the band’s outspoken nature today. Although it took nearly three years to release its second album, the five-piece outfit from Reading, England has ditched its major-label constraints, disregarded boundaries, and comfortably created a musical adventure titled Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

The album fuses psychedelic acoustic interludes, electro-pop attacks, dirty-grime raps, and one synth-free ballad into a single collection. One of the band’s founders, synth player Dan Coop, recently took some time while touring the States to answer our questions.

First and foremost, your animosity towards the mass-music media, major record labels, genre tags, etc. is justifiable. But if you believe that mainstream musicians have simply found an obvious “formula,” can you explain how your approach to music is different?

Well, I think we just write tunes that we like and run with them. We’ve got a bit of a love-hate relationship with the first record. We were getting a lot of pressure from our ex-major label to do stuff we weren’t comfortable with, so in that way, we see it as a quite naïve and pretty disjointed album.  At one end, you’ve got ’80s synth pop, and then at the other, you’ve got produced dance-floor tracks. Luckily, I think it kind of worked out, as we’ve got fans coming at us from lots of different “scenes” so to speak, be it the metal scene who liked “Heavy Heart” and “Let’s Make Out,” the electro crowd who liked “Rockstars” and “Weird Science,” or the indie kids who liked “Dawn of The Dead.”

It’s a bit of a cliché, but it really pains us to be just dumped in a pigeonhole. The UK press really tried to put us into the whole “new rave” debacle, which was pretty funny as there really was no such thing as new rave until some journo thought of it, and, of course, since we use a synth in our songs, it was automatically assumed we were part of it. The only thing we want to do with our band is play sold-out shows and write songs we would like to hear on the radio. Scenes are fine if you want stereotypes; we just want to do our own thing.

Weekly Music News Roundup

Blue Note announces another list of catalogue deletions; Akron/Family and High on Fire sign to new labels; Trent Reznor comments on Nine Inch Nails‘ music being used in the torture of overseas detainees.  Keep reading…

Weekly Music News Roundup

Femi Kuti confirms US tour dates, Ennio Morricone will write music for Quentin Tarantino, and we have previews for new albums by Andrew Bird, Burnt by the Sun, William Elliot Whitmore, and Powersolo. Read on.

Voodoo Music Experience Mixes NOLA and National Flavor

The Voodoo Music Experience celebrated its 10th anniversary in New Orleans with its most ambitious lineup ever and crowds from all over the country. Mixing a tableaux of both international touring bands with local acts that embody the New Orleans indie/alternative/traditional culture, the 3-day weekend continued proudly once again in its City Park homestead which had been underwater during Hurricane Katrina.

What We’re Doing This Weekend

Shining (Norway)

CMJ in New York, Voodoo Experience in New Orleans, four great nights at Chicago’s Hideout, — this weekend is packed. Shudder to Think, Shining, Coliseum, Fucked Up, The Eternals, sBACH, Deacon John, and Pillars and Tongues are all among our recommendations to catch live.