Justice of the Unicorns
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Justice of the Unicorns


Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Justice of the Unicorns - Something Special"

Justice of the Unicorns could be the best new band of 2008. The Brooklyn band has begun to, as Bob Dylan said: "Change my way of thinking." They, with with the "bizarro name," are ever part as wonderful and similarly artistic as three highly revered and successful modern "bizzaro acts" - Ween, the Flaming Lips and solo artist Beck - and yet still somehow Justice of the Unicorns is still its own animal.

JOTU's new album (their second full-length release) will hit store shelves next month. Change is the way of the world and I promise you - there will be much, much more to be said on this band. Read on brave of heart - we are entering The Age of the Unicorn.

They will rock you. Justice of the Unicorns is: Russell "Rusty" Dungan - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Jason Lam - Guitar, Daniel Forbes - Bass and lap steel, Anthony Cangelosi - Drums, and Yasmin Reshamwala - keyboards.

The talented Dungan and Lam are guilty conspirators in Tigers and Monkeys - another amazing New York band which released a tragically good rock album, "Loose Mouth," in 2007. For all their work, Tigers and Monkeys earned a spot on last year's very exclusive RSL Top 40 Artists List. I suspect there might be room Justice of the Unicorns on this year's list...

With song lyrics that sometimes make you laugh (lyrics about the movies Krull and Labyrinth) and stories that touch the heart and make you want to cry, Justice of the Unicorns' INCREDIBLE new album is one to have. "Angels with Uzis" - will be released in March on Little Lamb Recordings. It comes to you HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - one of the year's first must-have indie rock recordings. - Ryan's Smashing Life

"Angels with Uzis Review"

So I'm guessing you, like me until a very short while ago, won't have the tiniest clue about Justice of the Unicorns. They don't even, at the time of writing, have a Wikipedia listing. I bet BW has a Wikipedia listing (and if we don't, the Wiki-slut Alex will have created one before you finish reading this post!).
Justice of the Unicorns must be hyper-cool because they hail from Puerto Rico Town in Brooklyn, NYC. In parts Neil Young and Eddie Vedder (particularly his solo work), Jack White/White Stripes, Yeasayer, Ween, lo-fi, psychdelic etc etc you get the picture. They have sensational cover art (above) and fucking excellent tunes.
Apparently Angels with Uzis is their second full length album - The Pill that Killed Hendrix was their first (you can listen to a couple of the tracks on their website). There's a nice tie-in between the two albums. In the track Fake Gold, from their latest release, they sing about seeing Tupac and Biggie chatting to Hendrix at a Taco Bell on their way to the Pearly Gates ruing that they'll never get high again. Tell me you don't like that story line??
There's no point in me singling out highlights because the whole album is tremendous. A couple of weeks ago, writing about British Sea Power's Do You Like Rock Music?, I expressed my concern that I might have been a bit forward with my claim that BSP's brilliant work was going to be hard to outdo. BW folk, I think my concern has been vindicated. This year has kicked off sensationally with BSP, Vampire Weekend and now Justice of the Unicorn! These guys are going to have a big 2008. - Burnt Waffles

"Angels with Uzis Review"

Brooklyn-based Justice of the Unicorns is the next big thing. For reals. I can feel it. What’s not to love about this band’s second full-length release, Angels with Uzis? Let’s start with the album art, which IMHO, is possibly the best album art ever launched out into the indie world: hand-drawn cartoon-y angels armed with rainbow-striped uzis and polka dotted wings descend from the rainbowed heavens into a dark and burning city. The rapture is here. Thank god we have good indie rock to save us.

The album begins and ends with a conceptual soundtrack that can easily catch one off guard. The band chooses to begin with what sounds like an action movie soundtrack: church organs and applause coax us into the album before we are attacked by the sounds of machine guns and people screaming. Yes, this seems brutal, but Justice of the Unicorns is hardly a hardcore or metal band. These indie rockers just have a sarcastic sense of humor, one that is made evident by allusions to mythical creatures in both name and the visual culture of the band. And on that note, please Google the band so you can see the their video content — from music videos to a weird talking cat sporting a hoodie announcing the album’s release date — I promise you will be amused.

This five-piece blends indie, folk, and country elements to bring us something we have both heard and not heard before. A unique aspect to the album is the use of sound effects; they are most obvious on the opening and closing tracks, but throughout the album, the band throws in the sounds of whips and airplanes to give it that postmodern pastiche punch. The male and female vocals remind me of The Pink Mountaintops, which are then made more interesting with a sarcastic lyrical wit reminiscent of the Silver Jews.

Lyrically, the album addresses topics that every nerdy 14-year-old boy and tomboy would love: from killing evil dragons on “The Dragon's Claw - Chapter I” to flying dinosaurs on “Pterodactyl Sun.” The band also has a strange obsession with class and religion. One might read “The King Of The Trailer Park” as one gigantic stereotype: “I’m the king of the trailer park and my hair is peroxide frizzle fried…but I’m just going to sit here and talk to my velvet Elvis poster and I’ll build a beer can pyramid all alone.” Maybe these are a bunch of city hipsters, but their homage to rural music styles is still worth listening to.

My only complaint is that each track measures in at under 3 ½ minutes — so, although the album contains 13 tracks, the whole thing goes by much too quickly. I’ve found that I’m playing the album to death. I’ll probably be absolutely sick of it by the summer, but for now I’ll keep it on repeat and force everyone who enters my house to listen to it. Justice of the Unicorns could be the next Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and maybe you’ll get to catch them in some cool small venue in your town before they blow up. - Feminist Review

"Angels with Uzis Review"

Hailing from Puerto Rico Town in New York City, Justice of the Unicorns is a peculiar band. And not just due to their cover art. Within the sound of this five-piece, one might hear vocals variously reminiscent of Nick Cave or My Morning Jacket, drumming that is The National-esque, a musical variety like that of (appropriately) The Unicorns and strange innocence akin to Bright Eyes.

JOTU are, paradoxically, made up of everything you know, and yet are like nothing you've heard before. That's before we even get to the lyrical content. This includes a glowing assessment of Jesus' girlfriend, a dissection of comfortable Malibu lives, pushing around broken golf carts and mystified questioning of the circumstances surrounding one's conception. ANGELS WITH UZIS is odd - that's a given. It's also uniquely intriguing, humourous, and touching. - TwoThousand

"Angels with Uzis Review"

After Justice of the Unicorns introduce their listeners to the band with “Angels Descend”, the first actual track that confronts listeners is “Malibu Is High End”. “Malibu Is High End” is a very odd track due to the warbly vocals that confront listeners. There are hints of Neil Young in these vocals, but the human quality of the vocals operates as a perfect counterpoint to the martial, on-time drumming that lay at the bottom of the track. While there is a much more sedate approach, Justice of the Unicorns seem to have the same influence set that early Radiohead drew their inspirations from.

I believe that this moderating influence is early-nineties Flaming Lips, but I’m not sure. The dual vocals that start off “Wild Tiger” give Justice of the Unicorns a decidedly eighties sound, and even the country stylings of the vocals during this track can’t hold this style back. Justice of the Unicorns are a very unique type of band, and it is really during a song like “Wild Tiger” that this becomes noticeable. It is not the specific sound that the band creates that causes me to say the band is unique, but rather the way in which they orient and link together disparate elements and genres of music. The fact that there is an infectious harmony present during many of the tracks on “Angels With Uzis” is another reason why this album is infectious and compelling even from the introduction. “McCarren Pool” is a track that continues to throw in catchy singing with an instrumentation that vacillates between a sixties pop and an Bauhaus approach to goth music.

What results is something sunny, something ultimately danceable, and is something that should be deemed yet another hit for Justice of the Unicorns. Not that many people know who Justice of the Unicorns are at this time, but I have no doubt that the act will become bigger as more individuals are able to figure out exactly how amazing of a band they are. “Fried Rice” is yet another song that proves what has been said during the review. The vocals are amazing, the guitars bolster any weak or quiet moments for the said vocals, and what would normally be a track that is full of emptiness is made into something that is much, much more than its constituent parts. Give this band a listen and this CD a purchase. - NeuFutur Magazine

"Angels with Uzis Review"

Justice of the Unicorns are unrelated, as far as we can tell, to the hipster favorite bands that make up their name. Still, if pressed, we’d place them slightly closer to the Unicorns’ fey, faux-naif indie fragments than Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” friendly electro, though, they’re madder than either, no question about that. Proof? Lend an ear to album opener “Intro: Angels Descend”, with its sunny swirl of circus-y calliope, all bubbling over with children’s laughter...nice. Except that the sound goes slowly sour in the sunshine, then erupts in machine gun fire and screams. Angels with uzis, indeed. The rest of the album (recently nominated for Idolator “Worst Cover of the Year” designation) is less violent but just as twisted.

Songs, penned mainly by Rusty Dungan (ex of Tigers and Monkeys), pursue varying styles with crazy glee. The Hawaiian slide guitar and booming Motown drums of “Wild Tiger” wraps around a bizarre narrative about the reincarnation possibilities of wild tigers. And “Fake Gold” has a blues-inflected, White Stripes-ish swagger to it, though it opens with a decidedly surreal line, “We were on our way to the pearly gates/ when we passed another Taco Bell.” Jesus plays a large role in Justice of the Unicorns’ lyrical imagery, whether toting an Uzi ("Fake Gold") or hanging with his lady ("Jesus Had a Sweet Girlfriend"). Best cut, hands down, though, is the secular and whimsical “McCarren Pool” as driven and distorted and delicious as anything on Magnetic Fields’ Distortion. Even in Brooklyn, grand visions of gods and monsters pale besides the sight of a young girl dancing under the Chinese heaven tree. Fascinating, imaginative, loosely put together, Angels with Uzis is brainy slacker pop, subversive and endlessly amusing. - PopMatters

"Angels with Uzis Review"

Aside from having a kick-ass band name and a super crucial album title, Justice of the Unicorns deliver a solid half-hour of indie/rock/pop weirdness chock-full of quirks and oddities on Angels with Uzis. The album starts with an epic intro that begins innocently enough with harps and church organs, but descends quickly into automatic weapons firing over bizarre circus music and screaming children. Out of nowhere, the first song starts displaying an obvious influence
from The Thrills. One particular high point comes in the middle of “The Dragons Claw Chapter 1” when an Iron Maiden-esque speech plays over the music. The music itself is solid and doesn’t rely on idiosyncrasies, though they do add to the music. Check out some videos at www.myspace.com/justiceoftheunicorns.
Andrew Bonnenfant - Synthesis Weekly


"The Pill That Killed Hendrix" (2007) LP - Little Lamb Recordings
"Angels with Uzis" (2008) LP - Little Lamb Recordings

Check out the latest JOTU music videos at the website below.



From the backwoods mind of Rusty Dungan, Justice of the Unicorns play songs that touch the heart and tickle the soul. Parts indie-rock, folk, and pop. Currently based in Brooklyn -- the band consists of members from Tigers and Monkeys, The Causey Way, Holopaw, and Diffuser.

Their latest release "Angels with Uzis" has received critically acclaim in online and print media and charted at numerous college stations entering the CMJ Top 100.

The band is currently working on a new EP due out this Fall.