The Gallic party-starters stutter on album number three.
GALLIC PARTY-STARTERS’ STUTTERING THIRD.
JUSTICE WOMAN ED BANGER/BECAUSE MUSIC, OUT 18 NOVEMBER
Like Daft Punk’s wayward younger brothers, over the past decade Parisian duo Justice have taught dance music how to rock. But while Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay nailed the essentials at the beginning, what with the head-banging beats of debut album †, their artfully distressed leather jackets and a pulverising Marshall-stacked live show, their last album, 2011’ s prog-rock infused Audio, Video, Disco, proved a disappointingly tame attempt to add a little subtlety to the mix. Woman, in line with its bold if never actually contextualised title, is at least a return to dancefloor basics. So instead of mining post-millennial electro, the opening tracks form a sequence of expertly contrived disco throwbacks. Safe And Sound, with its popping bass, sashaying strings and breathy vocals, comes on like the second coming of ’ 70s legend Cerrone, while Alakazam! channels the satiny synths, buttock-twitching grooves and hard-revving breakdowns of ’ 80s Italo-disco. Unfortunately, unlike their Daft countrymen, they don’t have a direct line to Nile Rodgers – or even Pharrell – and halfway in the album starts to stutter like a mirrorball whose motor is on the blink. So while there are glimpses of mosh-pitt-riggering oomph, most notably on rasping pocket symphony Chorus, there’s also Love S.O.S.’s inane vocal hysterics. It’s not until Close Call’s quirky finale, with its echoes of Gallic synth pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey, that Augé and de Rosnay hit on something fresh, though by then most of their pop-up discotheque’s customers may already have headed for the exits. HHH
Listen To: Safe And Sound | Alakazam! | Close Call
UNLIKE DAFT PUNK, THEY DON’T HAVE A DIRECT LINE TO NILE RODGERS OR PHARRELL.
Justice (Gaspard Augé, left, and Xavier de Rosnay): “returning to dancefloor basics.”