Norway's eclectic duo DATAROCK shines on their self-titled debut release.
Datarock: Fredrik Saropa (drums); Ket-ill (background vocals).
Additional personnel: Tarjei Strom (drums); Thomas Loaaneim (percussion); Jorgen Trden (programming); Bad Bikini (unknown instrument); Teresia Sotre Narskog, Hege L. Skjerping (background vocals).
The Norwegian duo Datarock worship at the twin altars of spastic '70s dance-rock, Devo and Talking Heads, both of whom inform their album debut (which includes tracks stretching back at least four years). Like their major influences, however, Datarock doesn't use humor as a crutch but instead as a coat rack, so to speak, to hang their excellent productions on. At times sounding like a heavily European version of indie-cabaret band Man Man, at other times a poppier version of fellow Scandinavian electronic dance savants Junior Senior, the duo appear capable of spinning virtually any musical idea into gold. The single "Fa-Fa-Fa" is glimmering dance-funk, "I Used to Dance with My Daddy" excellent computer pop, and when "Ganguro Girl" begins, it's nearly vocal jazz, but the lush chorus blooms rapturously into something beautiful and continental. Still, the humor probably wouldn't work if the Datarock duo didn't treat their oddball themes so seriously, like "Bulldozer" (where BMX's prove to be better than sex) or, on "Computer Camp Love," the twisted exchange that takes place between lead and backing vocals ("Did you get in her pants?," "She's not that kind of a girl, booger!," "Why? Does she have a penis?"). [Nettwerk also released the CD.] ~ John Bush
Spin (p.95) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[Datarock] bring a singularly warped exuberance to their double-entendre disco pop."
Entertainment Weekly (p.79) - "The Norwegian duo embrace a chimeric duality -- disco's coy fromage and post-punk's explosive chuff..." -- Grade: A-
Q (p.111) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]heir disco-tinged electronica [is] a surprising treat. A duo with a camp sense of humour....It makes for quite a party."