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RECORDED

Justice “?”

by Philip Brasor

Given the widespread influence of Scandinavian garage bands and the fact that the United Kingdom embraced The Strokes before the United States did, Europeans may prize authenticity in rock more than Americans do. The success of Frenchmen Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Auge in wresting the dance floor from effete knob-twiddlers and giving it to unwashed headbangers could be interpreted as a victory for such authenticity.

The duo’s debut album as Justice is one of the dirtiest-sounding records that’s ever been grudgingly referred to as disco, but their affection for keyboards that seem to have been moldering in the basement for 20 years isn’t just a retro gambit. It’s a statement of sonic purpose. Even a wimpy track like “D.A.N.C.E.,” with its artless kid-sung chorus, is predicated on predigital notions of excitement that have more to do with rattling the spinal cord than tickling the booty.

That Justice can pull this off without resorting to guitars may strike some as a gimmick, but the keyboard-and-bass structure of all their songs works on the same principle as the power chord: the louder and raunchier it is, the more difficult it becomes to resist.