Datarock Red

Datarock Red
One aspect of Datarock's new record, Red, quickly makes itself abundantly clear: these boys think they're hilarious. While the Norwegian band's 2005 LP, Datarock Datarock, was chockfull of catchy, unassumingly witty electro tunes, Red feels more like a gimmick. The album's strength is its instrumentals, with dance punk riffs punctuated by heavy cymbals and '80s-style synths. Unfortunately, its merit is lost in its vocals. Where Datarock Datarock presented itself as intentionally lame, nerdy and Norwegian, Red gets lost in its comedic attempts. Touching on themes as trite as blogging culture ("The Blog") and Molly Ringwald ("Molly), vocalist Fredrik Saroea's delivery sounds like an exaggerated mix of Thomas Dolby and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords. The record's highlight comes with "True Stories," Datarock's tribute track comprised entirely of Talking Heads song titles. But still, either the market for kitschy, '80s-influenced dance rock has dried up and Datarock's "concept" no longer works or the people of Norway know something about dance music I don't. (YAP/Nettwerk)