Fonda 500 are the work of a twisted mastermind, intent on gathering up the people who go on Pop Idol/Popstars as “a bit of a joke,” and forcing them in a band together. In Hull. To record in their bedrooms. Nice.
Well, OK, it didn’t happen quite like that. The Fondas have been squirting out large albums for a number of years now. And when I say large, take this newie – 30 tracks (“all real,” they say), 72-minutes long, all recorded in bedrooms, on 4-tracks and 8-tracks, and even on computers. Not a traditional studio in sight. This is my main frustration with Fonda 500. There’s nothing wrong with the endearing DIY approach they’ve always taken, but if some of these songs were brought out their shell then Fonda 500 could be one of the biggest pop bands on the planet.
Never mind. Showcased here is the side you don’t see in the manic live shows. Gentle acoustic numbers, instrumentals, animal noises, accordions and hum-alongs are scattered among usual live favourites like ‘Un Éléphant’, through to a cod country ode to Casios. Getting through 72 minutes of it, however, ends up being a bit of an endurance test. It’s just not normal...but then again, Fonda 500 aren’t a normal band.