Justice - Justice (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Justice (2005)

Lockin' Out

Who knew? Between all that time spent making delectable waffles, the Belgians were also able to figure out a recipe for some killer hardcore.

The proof of this otherwise outlandish claim is the new self-titled full length from Justice. Combining the sounds of Quicksand with good old-fashioned Boston hardcore, this five-piece has a sound as solid as you're likely to find. Forgoing breakdowns and mosh parts for the sounds of hardcore that Boston brought to the world in the 1980s, Justice rage through eleven tracks in just 20 minutes, not wasting a single one of them.

The delivery of vocalist Filip Hermans, in all its energy, is scruffy and concisely delivered. Potentially more important is the way that delivery is structured: as to keep perfectly in time with the rhythms behind him. And while that doesn't sound so tall of a task, to hone things down to as solid a level as it's at is nothing if not impressive. And while Hermans' inflection is a rather gruff one, the lyrics are rather easy to make out, especially when the rhythm and delivery both slow together. "Confrontations" bursts out of the gate with buzzsaw guitars and biting vocals, but soon enough slows down, losing only speed, not intensity. "Without Face" integrates some heavy rock ‘n' roll influence, both in the regular chord progressions and the way the bass and drums accent it, finally closing things out with a tactful guitar solo almost at the end.

"Fish on a Hook" is the band at their most urgent, and most volatile, and as many would say -- their best. It's not that the slower moments don't portray them in a positive enough light, because they do, but songs like this really bring out that beast in Boston hardcore that I know they're capable of. At not even a minute long, it packs all the fury it needs into the shortest possible amount of time.

Boston hardcore from across the pond. Not an entirely novel idea, but one that provides a terrific 20 minutes of music with all the anger and rage that hardcore was founded on.