Tuesday, May 1, 2018

DATAROCK- "Laugh In The Face of Darkness" is an enticing come on. Official Video from the "Face the Brutality" Album

After 9 years the red track suits are back. Norwegian electro rock Datarock released their latest album in March called Face the Brutality on YAP Records.  Since their inception in 2000 the band line up has changed often so maybe collective might make more sense but one constant has always been Fredrik Saroea on guitar and vocals. Was Datarock his brainchild exclusively? Maybe, probably but one thing is for sure he has held the rains as producer, principal songwriter, and provocateur over the years. Some say that the collective has included roughly 99 other players other than Saroea but currently they are Fredrik (guitar and vocals), Ketil Mosnes (bass and vocals), Stig Narve Brunstad (keyboards, percussion, vocals) and Øyvind Solheim (drums and vocals). 

"Face the Brutality" goes down easy. Saroea has a smart light touch on production and a vocal performance that commands attention. As you listen to the varied songs you hear hints of other synth or bass lines that sound familiar but there is not a sense of rip off ever but more a comfortable sense of homage or inspirations and (in the end) it is an eclectic mix. There are slight hints of Interpol, MGMT, Falco, the Cure, Bowie and even K-OS.  Of the title of the album he says:  “We heard a radio show in Canada with that name back in 2004,” Saroea says of the LP title, “and thought it sounded hilariously pretentious. Coming from a city of black metal, and with a background in punk and trash metal, we found the title so utterly wrong for DATAROCK that we’ve always wanted to use it for an album.

The single Laugh In the Face of Darkness has an 80's retro pursed lips sensibility with percolating synth tones, acoustic Flamenco-ish guitar, cagey bass lines and Saroea's postured art rock vocal performance. How can you not get lost in Datarock's aesthetic. It is too enticing to resist. The official video is just as lush.
Robb Donker

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