sat 15/06/2024

Album: Justice - Hyperdrama | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Justice - Hyperdrama

Album: Justice - Hyperdrama

French electronic dance stalwarts return from eight-year break in fine fettle

Crossbones

Justice are a couple of super-suave rock star analogues. Leathers and aviators, yes, but with a very Parisian insouciance. Their music is the same. It has a rocker-friendly je-ne-sais-quoi, but air-brushed with the glitzy sci-fi futurism one might expect from a couple of guys whose origins lie in design.

Their new album, their fourth and first in a leisurely eight years, retains their usual slightly-gnarly-but-smartly-turned-out vibe, but reaches towards new and entertaining musical directions.

Justice blew up with Noughties monster remix “We Are Your Friends”, then rode the proto-EDM wave, with parent label Ed Banger Records, of artists and DJs who presented electronic dance music, not as a rave, but as a show, as the new rock’n’roll. The Americans, especially, couldn’t get enough of them, with their stacks of Marshall amps and heavy metal-electro debut album, Cross.

Hyperdrama contains immediate whoppers, notably the Nineties rave hoover apocalypse of “Generator”, an equivalent to The Prodigy’s “Omen”, and the prog-funk of “Saturnine”, a song featuring vocals from US R&B kingpin Miguel that comes in somewhere between Pharrell Wiliams and Trevor Horn-produced Yes, albeit with bonus elevator bell pings.

Elsewhere they offer up sax-led space-out (“Moonlight Rendez-Vous”), a Giorgio Moroder film theme-ish roller (“Explorer” featuring Connan Mockasin) and lighters-in-the-air stadium hyperpop (“The End”, featuring Thundercat), but the default setting is steroid disco. Late period Daft Punk’s yacht-rock tendencies are deep-dipped in sterner, crunchier synths and percussion, whether on the poppy, falsetto “Neverender”, featuring Tame Impala, or the more battering “Incognito”.

Having been off-radar for a few years, Justice surfaced to promote this album. They remain breezily Gallic rock’n’roll sophisticates, still with more than enough musical bang-juice in the tank to make Hyperdrama an enjoyable ear romp that reaches the feet.

Below: Watch the video for "One Night/All Night" by Justice featuring Tame Impala

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