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, 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).