It’s pretty embarrassing when you’ve discovered a new band, only to find out that they’ve been out for years and are popular with half the planet.  So I guess this entry about Audio, Video, Disco, the sophomore album from Justice, the French electronic duo, is for the half that were as clueless as I was.  While listening to Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay’s half-instrumental, half vocal album, it sounds like they couldn’t decide which 80’s mainstay they wanted to emulate: synthpop or hairband rock.  Rather than choose, they jumbled the two styles together and created an epic album of adrenaline pumping metal guitar riffs and sharp, dance-inducing electronic beats.

While Justice created an album based on strong synth elements, most notably the infectious dancers, On’n’On and Civilization, tracks like Brainvision, the AC/DC influenced New Lands, and the funky Helix focus on thrashing or twisting guitar solos to give the album a harder edge and musical credibility to traditionalists who still have a hard time accepting electronica or synthpop as a legit musical genre.

Track Breakdown:

On’n’On starts off with the falsetto vocals of Morgan Phalen, singer of New York-based metal band, Diamond Nights.  Phalen’s voice is airy but strong, and contrasts well to the pulsating beat and razor-sharp, funky melody and killer flute solo.

Civilization has an aura of importance and feels like the soundtrack to the creation of man.  Each verse has the robotic vocals of Ali Love (English disco/dance musician) contrasting with the power of the chorus, which creeps in and roars with a catchy hook, a rattling bass and anthematic lyrics: The beating of a million drums.  The fire of a million guns.  The mother of a million sons.  Civilization. 

Parade‘s beat slams and claps with military precision.  A piercing guitar, synth/horn melody, and wordless chorus, turns Parade into an emotional culmination, carrying a weightiness and sense of relevance.

When & Where:

Audio, Video, Disco is the album to play to get the non-dancers dancing or if you need inspiration from an 80s montage song.

On’n’On:

Civilization:

Parade:

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