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Justice - Hyperdrama (Album Review)

Tuesday, 30 April 2024 Written by Adam England

Photo: André Chémétoff

However you choose to label them — ​​electroclash, bloghaus, indie sleaze, French touch — Justice remain one of the most celebrated electronic acts this side of the millennium thanks to the way they have managed to bridge the gap between being indie favourites and huge stars. 

Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé’s latest evolutionary step is ‘Hyperdrama’, their first studio album since 2016’s ‘Woman’. Here they combine their electro-rock leanings with disco and psych, throwing in a sprinkling of hardcore techno to expert effect. 

Two of its tracks — lead single One Night/All Night and album opener Neverender — feature Tame Impala, and Kevin Parker’s fingerprints are duly all over them.

Parker’s “I remember/The hardest are the times I don’t forget” line on the latter is an instant earworm, and its obvious accessibility makes it an ideal curtain-raiser while also underlining one of the LP's main strengths.

‘Hyperdrama’ is pocked with intriguing collaborations and, from Eritrean-Dutch R&B singer RIMON on Afterimage to Manchester duo The Flints on Mannequin Love, they all appear carefully considered. Justice said they want their collaborators to feel like the third member of the band on the track they work on, and their seamless integration indicates that. Equally, while Justice continue to abruptly move from one genre to the next, even multiple times within the same song in the case of the disco-meets-gabber instrumental Generator, it never seems like their approach is scattergun. 

Even so, ‘Hyperdrama’ risks losing that tight sense of control as it progresses. The retro-futuristic Moonlight Rendez-vous sounds a bit like a ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’ B-side, should Arctic Monkeys have gone a bit more jazz-heavy, while the idiosyncratic Muscle Memory, which the duo said is what they imagine contemporary classical music made by machines to sound like, and the interlude Harpy Dream are on the woolly side.

But the second half of the album is saved by exceptional collaborations with Miguel and Thundercat. Miguel has the perfect voice for Saturnine, a groovy track led by a synth guitar riff, while aptly named closer The End has a futuristic soul sound that leaves you feeling as though you’ve heard something slightly out of this world.

Justice Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat August 24 2024 - LONDON Victoria Park

Compare & Buy Justice Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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