Under Review: Datarock – Red

Norwegian duo Datarock have a few choices to make: do they want to be a futuristic-themed band or an ’80s throwback band?  Are they purveyors of silly novelty songs or are they genuine songwriters?  Are they going to release an album that’s better than their latest, Red?  To encourage the guys, I’ll answer the last question with an “I hope so.”  Not that Red is so dreadfully unlistenable; it’s just remarkably uneven and unfocused.  The set starts with “The Blog,” which might indicate that these guys want to write about the modern, cyber-influence world.  Incorporating vocal samples of lecturers explaining how the “World Wide Web” and “Internet” are not exactly the same thing, the song is like a communication theory course lodged into three uneasy minutes.  The very next track, “Give It Up,” finds the band much more at ease with the kind of stiff, mechanically precise dance-punk that the group displayed on their double-self-titled debut.  Their fascination with the 1980’s goes beyond songs like “Molly” (Ringwald, that is) and “True Stories” (a haphazard recitation of Talking Heads song titles), as the band reportedly used vintage equipment to record this album.  It’s not so easy to tell, though, since the band still can’t settle on a particular musical time period.  Sure, “Amarillion,” a slower track, sizzles nicely, but it’s hard to know if the guys are really trying to be serious when it’s followed by “The Pretender” (which, were it not for its real lyrics, could just as easily be “True Stories Part 2”).  There are certainly plenty of other bands out there doing the goofy electronic thing way worse than Datarock, so I guess I shouldn’t be too critical.  However, knowing what Datarock are capable of, it’s a shame to have such a lunk of an album standing between them and greatness.

Advertisements

~ by E. on September 2, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s