Confusion lies right at the heart of Bergen, Norway’s beloved DATAROCK.
It always has.
You just need to ask founder Fredrik Saroea to summarise the band’s history and it’s enough to make your head spin.
On their 2009 album, Red, they listed almost fifty members, and the soundtrack to their musical – released, with unusual transparency, under the name The Musical in 2015 – featured 87 guests.
Meanwhile musicians have come and gone, and often come back again, and maybe gone again, always under friendly circumstances, as the band continues to operate an open-door policy that regularly sees their stage invaded by fans.
Music, meanwhile, has sometimes been recorded by the current band’s entire line-up, at other times just by Saroea, and even by formations that Saroea struggles to recall.
In fact, Saroea jokes, "the main guy in the band has always been the red tracksuit" – worn by musicians during DATAROCK’s live performances – for which they’ve become famous.
Adding to the confusion, however, even that’s now been replaced by a black one.
FACE THE BRUTALITY was recorded at Bergen’s Duper Studios, and co-produced by Yngve Sætre.
“It's been such a great experience from beginning to end,” Saroea says, “sort of like when we started the band: not caring about the business, and just being friends making music together like teenagers, only now with a hint of life lived.
” Subversive and mischievous, disarmingly modest, effortlessly entertaining, and as daft as they are heartfelt, DATAROCK have been sorely missing from our lives these unsettling recent years.
Their ambitions remain humble – “We hope the next album will reach out and put a smile on our fellow bitter and bored friends around the world” – but FACE THE BRUTALITY might even entertain a handful or two others.
Let confusion rain! Sorry – Let confusion reign! (That’s the Bergen in the band coming out…).