Nerdy Norwegian ‘80s drenched electro rockers Datarock are back, with a huge helping of undeniable dance-demanding music. The Bergen-based duo step it up with quality tunes to make you shake and groove whether at home or in concert. While the sound is light-hearted, Datarock obviously take their music seriously. The improvement over their 2005 self-titled debut is palpable. Clocking in at a rather short 40 minutes, the song writing and overall sound is more polished and demonstrates the range Datarock is capable of. Red channels some of the better aspects of the musical past while keeping the flavour its own with a spectrum of influences from the Smiths to the Talking Heads making an appearance over the 13 tracks.
Datarock confronts the status quo with a couple songs leaving the standard 4/4 time signatures behind. It’s a challenge to a friendly non-Euclidian dance off, and everyone wins. The sound is well produced with prominent guitar riffs over a bed of synths arpeggiating and pitch-bending in true ‘80s fashion. “Fear of Death” is a short but catchy synth-pop infused Morrissey-channeling track with spoken word narration candidly musing on feelings about mortality. The closing track, “New Days Dawn” is a slower lounge jam, fit for an above ground jazz club and is a nice closer to an otherwise high intensity album. Overall, a solid delivery from these groove happy Scandinavians wearing matching track suits in (what else?) bright red.