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Red Suit, Dark Edge: Menomonie Musician’s Latest Album Conveys Flair for Sonically Intense

local rock/electronic artist drops edgy new album, showing music that has a dark edge ‘isn’t ugly’

Parker Reed |

EDGY ALBUM. Justin Nicholes (a.k.a. Justice Son) dropped his latest album, “Red Suit,” which you can find on Bandcamp.
EDGY ALBUM. Justin Nicholes (a.k.a. Justice Son) dropped his latest album, “Red Suit,” which you can find on Bandcamp. (Submitted photos.)

A musician with flair for the sonically intense? That’s Justin Nicholes, also known by his stage name “Justice Son,” a Menonomie area rock/electronic artist who recently released his latest studio album Red Suit – an 11-song offering of nu-metal inspired songs.

There can be music that has a dark edge but isn't ugly.

Justin nicholes

local musician

A desire to create blossomed over the past year, Nicholes said, but an inability to collaborate with other musicians during the recording process inspired him to flex his musical muscles and get creative while crafting Red Suit.“I knew I wanted it to be a rock album – even metal – but I realized that I’m only one person, so I’m limited as to what kind of instrumentation I can utilize,” Nicholes said. “I use all synthesizers and virtual instruments, so I had to be creative with the recordings.”

Over the course of his life, Nicholes has lived all over the globe, including stints in Kansas, Ohio, and even China, where he taught English for seven years. After globetrotting for most of his adult life, Nicholes landed in Menomonie in 2018, and the Justice Son project began to gain traction from there.

Red Suit features a variety of song lengths, ranging from 2 minutes and 55 seconds and stretching to 5 minutes and 6 seconds. Nicholes said this range in melodic structure mixed with positive reinforcement was the goal of the project – to show listeners that different styles of music, different tempos, and different moods can all be simultaneously beautiful.

“There can music that has a dark edge but isn’t ugly,” Nicholes said. “I want this record to empower people and inspire people, so these songs are powerful without needing to draw from negative emotions.”

You can hear Justice Son’s new album Red Suit, now exclusively on Bandcamp.