Datarock Datarock Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Datarock are lunatics who occasionally border on genius. Your life will be greyer...

Serena Kutchinsky 2007

Forget all this nu rave, nu wave nonsense. Nobody does indie dance better than Datarock. You get me? Nobody. So wipe all those tunes by day-glo-sporting art school pretenders off your hard drive, settle down with this album and a mug of cocoa and get ready to worship at the altar of these robo-rocking Norwegians.

The dynamic tracksuit-loving duo hail from Bergen – the seaside town with the ridiculously vibrant scene that spawned Annie, Royksopp, Erland Oye and countless others. Inspired by the electro-pop sounds filling their local clubs these unshaven individuals decided to trade in their thrash guitars for casio keyboards and small boxes with lots of knobs.

In the seven years since they made that momentous decision, Fredrik and Ketil, have been taking the Datarock gospel to the world. Their reputation has flourished due to their irresistible futuristic sound and off-the-wall live performances. They made their debut, in December 2000, clad all in white, at Annie's legendary monthly session. Their aim was to emulate the bonkers vibe of their heroes Devo. To that end they convinced crowds of mates to prance about on stage wearing stupid sunglasses and talking into giant walkie-talkies.

That fun-loving spirit pervades this entire album, which is their finest moment yet. Keen to avoid getting sucked into the mainstream, the Data boys set up their own aptly titled label 'Young Aspiring Professionals' and released their self-titled debut nationally. Two years and one painstaking licensing agreement later, and we can all finally get in on the Datarock act.

Be prepared for a full frontal electro-camp assault with some David Byrne-esque gangly guitar lines and slick synth-led production styles. The opener '’Bulldozer’' kicks things off with a track dedicated to the pair's deep affection for the humble BMX, which they loudly proclaim to be 'better than sex'.

Then there's the twisted call and response of '’Computer Camp Love’' which harks back to a time when the power ballad reigned supreme. 'Fa Fa Fa' is Datarock at their infectious best and mixes dance-rock drums with funk-strummed guitars and a super-catchy chorus. Annie makes a guest appearance on the final croonsome track '’ Will Always Remember You’' which reveals the silky quality of Fred's voice and conjures up images of spring days, courting couples and super smooth vodka. The standout track is the least overtly funny and gives a glimpse of the emotion behind the kitsch camp. 'The Most Beautiful Girl' goes down a slightly more sombre path, with a pretty melody and tear-stained lyrics, inspired by a painful break-up.

So there you have it. Datarock are lunatics who occasionally border on genius, or perhaps it's the other way round. Only thing is for sure – your life will be greyer without this album. Buy it now.

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