February 7, 2008

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Justice, Cross
Downtown/Ed Banger Records, June 11, 2007
Better Late Than Never Department: three copies of this have bumbled into the office, the first several months before release date. Shows you how much I dig MSTRKRFT, being that I immediately wrote off Justice as noisome, noisy nonsense — MSTRKRFT approves enough of Justice’s copycatting them that they remixed Justice’s kiddy-voiced nu-rave nugget “DANCE,” so either the two bands are buds or MSTRKRFT are singularly unafraid of Justice’s attempt to cut into the electro-house/dance-punk pie. Either way, lots of irritating buzz about this now, so let’s whip out the snark and do a reality check.

Also in my defense I’d like to add that I’m not big on electro-house anyway; I mentioned Bodyrox’ “Yeah Yeah” only in the fleetest of passing in the review I did last year of Tom Novy’s house comp, and I still hit the skip button whenever it shows up. Just because a DJ can choke a bunch of squelchy crud out of his/her Pro Tools doesn’t make him/her an information age Mozart.

Who cares, right, so Justice’s debut is a step up from most nu-rave, louder, more hooky, loaded up with ’70s disco and late ’80s deep house angles. Like most other electro-house records, there’s a thick layer of crunch, more so here because they’re apparently trying to emulate what all this stupidness would sound like if it were being played through the factory-issue radio of a ’70 Chevelle. C+ — E. W. S.