Datarock shows electronic extravagance

By Gus Bode

Datarock: “Datarock”

Release date: June 12, 2007

Nettwerk Records


It’s difficult to think any album worth listening to would contain the less-than-thought-provoking shouted lyrics “BMX is better than sex.”

The Norwegian duo of Fredrik Saroea and Ketil Mosnes, also known as Datarock, however, prove in their first full-length CD “Datarock Datarock” that creating a successful indie-dance recording can be all about catchy tunes and grooving dance beats, not necessarily about poetic lyrics.

The two cite among their greatest influences the Talking Heads and DEVO, which is obvious in “Datarock.” Although the recordings contain all the traditional rock instruments, such as drums, bass, keyboards and guitars, the songs sound completely electronic and recall the sound of the new wave era. The group also drops pop-culture references in their songs left and right, including mentions of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and experimental performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson.

With bouncing beats and laid-back guitar riffs similar to The Strokes, the album kicks off with the mellow “Bulldozer.” It sets the pleasurable tone for the rest of the tracks when it smashes into heavier electronic drumbeats and the shouted aforementioned lyrics, featuring Saroea’s cracked tenor scream. The strongest and most catchy track on the album is “FaFaFa,” a funky, disco-esque song that recalls with its sound the era of lighted dance floors and leisure suits. A heavy grooving bass paired with tinkling guitar riffs and a straightforward, upbeat tempo could make this song a staple at any dance club.

This song even somehow manages to make endlessly repeating the word “Fa” cool and fun to listen to, which just shows Datarock’s musical skill.

On some tracks though, the duo actually show a little lyrical skill. In the hilarious “Computer Camp Love” they tell a story of a 1984 love affair that started at a computer camp. With call and answer lines similar to the song “Summer Nights” from the musical “Grease” a group of voices ask the lead singer all about his love, Judy.


“Tell me more/was it love at first sight?” they ask, backed by two-note minor chords from a keyboard and a singular bass drum.

“That’s right/this was God-given grace/with a face you could praise,” he answers.

Datarock’s self-titled album, while not the showcase of the greatest lyrics in the world, manages to be a fun listen on the forefront of indie-dance. It’s not perfect, but “Datarock Datarock” is definitely an enjoyable album with peppy beats and funky grooves.

Daily Egyptian writer Alicia Wade can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 275 or [email protected].