Album review: Justice - Audio, Video, Disco

The French duo try another tack for album number two. But is this rock-structured, barbed electronica a chart-busting missile or a misguided folly?

The sophomore album by feted French electro-punk duo Justice has, intriguingly, been made while in thrall to ‘70s rock titans like Led Zep, The Who, Queen and Blue Oyster Cult.

So we get stomping, fist-pumping crowd-pleasers like the strutting Horsepower, which could soundtrack a gleaming wrestler’s entry into the ring.

Synths are slathered over Queen-like harmonies and harpsichord in the loping Ohio before hardening to bristly stabs, heralding the imminent, exhilarating hammerblow riffs of Canon, which comes at you like Daft Punk’s thug brother.

On’n’On is another uplifting tune, but elsewhere it’s often either the self-indulgent whiff of prog-rock whimsy or simple lack of a recent riff that hamstrings the duo.

The title track, among others, is flaccid arena rock in electric sheep’s clothing. A mixed bag.

3 stars