This One Time, at Computer Camp…
After introducing themselves to Europe in 2005, Datarock have finally arrived Stateside with their fashionably late debut, Datarock Datarock. The delay worked mostly in their favor. Sharing the same Nordic heritage as ice-pop connoisseurs Royksopp and Annie, Fredrik Saroea and Ketil Mosnes have far more in common with todayâ€šÃ„Ã´s nu rave and yesteryearâ€šÃ„Ã´s new wave. However, this danceable dichotomy also threatens to betray the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s shortcomings, as this uber-eponymous effort alternates far too often between repeat-worthy hits and repetitive misses.If the shortest distance between Point Klaxon and Point Devo is a straight line, no one told Datarock. This dynamic duo zigzags all over the map, but they manage to make some nice stops along the way. Single â€šÃ„ÃºFa-Fa-Faâ€šÃ„Ã¹ roars like David Byrne fronting Franz Ferdinand, and â€šÃ„ÃºPrincessâ€šÃ„Ã¹ splices Boris-styled noise with surf-rock farfisa organs. On the other hand, â€šÃ„ÃºGanguro Girlâ€šÃ„Ã¹ models a sound that Beck wore out two albums ago while the closing â€šÃ„ÃºI Will Always Rememberâ€šÃ„Ã¹ finds Datarock shooting for a cross between Jens Lekman and Saint Etienne but missing.
ame Datarock actually fares better when they stop trying so hard and just be themselves. â€šÃ„ÃºLaurieâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is a sweet, unassuming indie ballad and â€šÃ„ÃºSex Me Upâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is how Of Montrealâ€šÃ„Ã´s Hissing Fauna would have sounded before the breakup. But in the end, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s the Hot Chip/Revenge of the Nerds mash-up of â€šÃ„ÃºComputer Camp Loveâ€šÃ„Ã¹ that steals the show. Rewriting â€šÃ„ÃºSummer Lovinâ€šÃ„Ã´â€šÃ„Ã¹ for the pocket protector crowd, it finds the band at their most endearingly witty if not exactly original.
ame All in all, Datarock Datarock doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t rock quite as well as it could, but thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s more than enough potential here to suggest otherwise in the future. Letâ€šÃ„Ã´s just hope itâ€šÃ„Ã´s not put on backorder for another two years.