Four long years after the debut †, French electro pair Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay return with their second album Audio, Video, Disco. Earlier this summer Justice re-introduced themselves with the track ‘Civilisation’. It turns out the song was a bridge, faithful to their original sound but alluded to a new direction. Audio, Video, Disco the album establishes that direction as a prog-rock-led take on their disco electro aesthetic. The overall sound is heavy and loud with ’70s dad-rock band riffs. A few organs here, a little pan-pipe there, their experiment and exploration into the nether regions of ’70s stadium rock will leave many previous fans unimpressed.
‘Brianvision’ opens with a prolonged guitar riff, one that goes on and on. ‘Parade’ has a ‘We Will Rock You’ stomp your feet, clap your hands opening segueing into another guitar riff. Neither track would be out of place on the Spinal Tap set list, which is not exactly the kind of reference point you would expect to see here a few years ago. The tempo changes with ‘On and On’, a catchy pop number underpinned with some psychedelic organ beats and the penultimate track ‘Helix’ is the lightest electro pop song on the album, a happy disco number and the most radio-friendly after ‘Civilisation’. These are kind of tracks you would have expected to permeate the whole album if Justice had opted to give us † version 2.0, which they definitely have not.
Audio, Video, Disco is not that enjoyable a listen. Overall a disappointing detour, hopefully Justice will quickly get back to making the kind of music that made their name.