Datarock‘s latest album, Face the Brutality, dropped March 9th through YAP records. DATAROCK is an 80’s recreating synth-rock band hailing from Norway, a place known more for its black metal. The band says the album’s title comes from a phrase they had heard prior and that, “coming from a city of black metal, and with a background in punk and trash metal, we found the title so utterly wrong for DATAROCK.”

Face the Brutality‘s first track, “BMX”, kicks off in good ol 80’s drum machine style. Joined in by an arpeggiated synth line that takes you back in time. I dropped a line to the band and asked,” why re-create that period of time?” Fredrik responded, “Probably just the fact that I grew up back then and have fond memories connected to those kinds sounds.” Seems, he isn’t alone. It’s becoming a trend and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon with aqua net and 80’s fever. There are contemporary sounds in this 80’s mix alongside some spunky lead guitar riffs, old school wah-wah, and some great group back up singers. Fredrik’s voice can range in the stylings of Beck, Sting, and even Sisters of Mercy as you get into the albums 4th track “Laugh in the Face of Darkness”, with its seductive sound. DATAROCK is a surefire for 80’s party like entertainment, not only through audio alone. Their stage show is top notch and made famous by wearing red tracksuits, in which you can purchase through their website. More than just a synth-driven pop band with punk influence the lyrics throughout have a poetic depth that can be thought pondering. When asked what track he was most stoked about Fredrik stated, “Today my favorite is the one named after a soap opera featured in Twin Peaks’s first season – Invitation to Love; a track that reinvents the ballad as a dance floor genre … and puts the reverb back on Kjetil Møster’s saxophone.” The track begins with drum and bass that is smoother than a baby’s butt. Mysterious like a hitman, and as sleek as a leatherette in an 80’s Porsche. The album ends on a punk-ish note with “Darkness at the Edge of the Pit.”

Overall the album hosts a series of hidden gems when it comes to musical diversity. DATAROCK have revamped the 80’s genre and polished it to perfection. When asked about the international reception Fredrik comments,”Over the years it’s been great! Like how we been able to play a thousand clubs and festivals in 36 counties on 5 continents – and how we ended up as 36 on NME’s list of albums of the year, or how Rolling Stone Magazine made Computer Vamp Love 88th beat of the yeast, etc. So far the best international response on the new album has been 5/5 in Music News and 4/5 in Classic Pop.”

In closing, what have we learned, Norway, more than just black metal, they’ve got DATAROCK. Go purchase your copy of Face the Brutality (or a tracksuit) from the bands’ website.

Kayla Hutton