August 27, 2009

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Datarock, Red
Nettwerk Records, Sept. 1

Pleasant surprise of the year so far, right here. Laptop team Datarock made like a pair of America-hypnotized Swedish-Chef bork-bork-bork morons in their self-titled debut, which seemed overjoyed just to have the opportunity to put dancey things, any dancey things, on an actual CD. There’s already plenty of sweaty nimrods flinging themselves down that rat-hole on euro indies like Compost, but for some reason — peer pressure from Pitchfork or whatever — you had to like these guys or else. In the face of all the above scary ridiculousness, Red seems the result of a deep soul-searching on the part of these guys whilst under head-drugs, their goal to transcend new-rave and make a giant Where’s Waldo pastiche of ’80s things sewn together so carefully that it works as an album for just about anyone, not just the dillweeds who get all the Talking Heads references and think that the unfunny humor is funny simply because it’s unfunny. “Molly,” a cross between Wire and A-Ha, is about Ringwald, hardy har, but whichever sweaty nimrod is doing the yelling/singing is dying trying, and, quite frankly, kicking patches of ass that haven’t been kicked in years. Elsewhere is Spandau Ballet fluff, some po-faced inroads into Depeche Mode territory, things like this, but there’s still enough sweaty-moron nu-raving to please the smarter half of the Bowery Ballroom. I fully expected utter, utter crap, but what a winner this one is. A+Eric W. Saeger