Does it feel to anyone else like music culture might have gone a few steps beyond being naturally cyclical, and is now basically a "what's the dumbest, most counterintuitive thing we can revive right now" bull-session? Hair metal's fall from grace in the early 90s was well-deserved, wasn't it? Because it was super stupid? And running cock-rock through tinny, Nintendo-speaker-grade hyper-compression isn't a magic wand against idiocy, yeah? I'm just checking, because Audio, Video, Disco, the new record by French dance music stars Justice, would seem to disagree.
You remember them from their genuinely delightful crossover smash "D.A.N.C.E.," which distilled Off The Wall-era MJ into a relentless thrill-delivery system. That song, shameless as it was, channeled something worthwhile. This record, a crummy sounding celebration of silly falsetto and wanky guitar solos with pinches of Rick Wakeman-in-a-cape synth noodling and gassy Glenn Frey melodies for good measure, is maybe the sweatiest coked-up fever dream of all time. That description makes it sounds less boring than it is, though. There are a couple ideas that sort of work. The big Queen drum stomps that underpin "Parade" sound kind of interesting against clouds of electro distortion. "Newlands" might make you chuckle for 30 seconds as the theme song to a ridiculous old Bosom Buddies-style sitcom. But really, this is just a conflation of multiple bloated genres that got swept away by much hipper punk-rock moments. Just because we haven't heard something for a while doesn't mean bringing it back is automatically a good idea. Good taste still matters. Right?Photo Ed Banger