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Looking Into the Future: Make the Sign of the †

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 17, 2007 2:20PM

One of our favorite rock albums of the last year was created by two guys who don’t play a single conventional instrument. To add insult to injury, the gentlemen in question also come from a nation that despises the phrase “freedom fries.” Worse yet? They threw one of our own fair city’s preeminent hip-hop celebrity missionaries into a tizzy when they snatched an MTV Europe award from his hands last year, spiraling said local celeb into a never-ending succession of highly prolific tantrums.

2007_09_justice.jpgOh, and it gets even worse, considering after seeing Daft Punk at this year’s Lollapalooza (yup, we managed to resurrect that festival yet again), we realized they stole all their best tricks from two of their fellow robots/countrymen. So how could we possibly say that Justice, the duo in question, has recorded one of our favorite rock albums of the year?

Well, the duo of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay have (a) released a dance album of such stunning immediacy and intensity it is nigh irresistible, and (b) that same duo has learned from others less skilled and actually released a dance disc that works as an album (yes, a rock and/or roll album in attitude and thematic coherence) with almost zero filler. Hell, these two cats have even seduced Kanye the whiner, and forced him to emulate them in his latest video. (And to get meta-meta on you, this is after Kanye already sampled their progenitors on his excellent “Stronger” single. Yeah, our head hurts too.)

Justice creates the sort of hard-charging dance music that seduces everyone within earshot. French house butts up against rock noise, and is then tempered by '80s cheese, to create what is, at the moment, the perfect mixture of aggression and rhythm. The playground rhymes of this summer’s “D.A.N.C.E.” stood in nice contrast to the noise-fuck of last year’s “Waters Of Nazareth” — both tunes are included on their breakout debut titled — and the rest of the album is packed with songs that stunningly fill the void between those two landmarks. If you’re young enough to remember what The Chemical Brothers sounded like in 1994, you know what we’re talking about, and if you’re not, you probably already own everything Justice has done.

Bottom line? We hope more people pay attention to this duo, take note, and keep our collective ass shaking.

Plus, they tap Uffie for a guest vocal, and say what you will, we love her, even if that affair probably won’t live out the Fall.

Justice come through town to play Metro October 17, and tickets are still available.