all words and photos: Aditya Banerjee
Casiokids and Starfucker played to a packed crowd of at Rock and Roll Hotel on Wednesday for a night of unstoppable dancing.
Casiokids hail from Norway and have a penchant for dropping poppy Norweigian vocals on top of a sound heavily influenced by afro-beats and techno. It’s hard to describe what kind of genre they slot into and they’re one of those bands that resist classification (Norwegian dudes dropping sick afro-beats? There should have been a wtf moment in that first sentence). Not all songs utilize the same instruments (like their xylophone) and they aren’t afraid to display diversity in their style, with Gront Lys I Alle Ledd being a very rock-styled track that is of a different vein from the African vocal sampling and Caribbean-esque En Ville Hest.
Apparently Casiokids are also famed for their theatrical and visual displays, and they tried to do their best at Rock and Roll Hotel. If you ever get the opportunity to see them at a larger venue it would be a good option worth considering.
Unfortunately a blown amp and some other technical difficulties delayed the sugar-rush from Starfucker’s performance. But fortunately Casiokids prepped the audience by teasing them with refreshing but subdued dance tracks that barely 30 seconds into Starfucker’s first song did the crowd burst into jumps, screams and thrashed to the contagious pop that Starfucker does so well.
If you haven’t heard Starfucker, well, one could just dismiss them as another synth/dance-pop band and call it a day, but I wouldn’t be so dismissive.
Sure, silky pop beats from the synthesizer are matched with hazy vocals and a strong guitar and drumline. They also keep a turntable on for good measure, but it isn’t the predominant force in their music. The thing about Starfucker is that they are a bit of a guilty pleasure – just so sweet and catchy that it almost causes a diabetic shock, but still utterly irresistible. They put on a loud, boisterous and youthfully arrogant performance which has a fever-pitched intensity that their albums just cannot possibly convey.
Their character on stage is slightly cocky but effervescent and occasionally strange (at one point Joshua Hodges paused during a song to haphazardly apply lipstick to his face), but in the end it manages to bring you back to a happiness last felt during the blissful ignorance of youth. Their music has a way of getting at your subconscious.
Even listening to their album at home you’ll find your head bobbing and shoulders swaying, definitely thankful that you have your headphones on and with no one around to see you. On stage their performance is wild and passionate. The concept of their latest album is about death and how it gives definition to life (apparently they album has been influenced by the philosopher Alan Watts who postulated the same idea) so as a result their lyrics are morose, but you dance past it. You don’t really have any other option.