Stretching the DIY ethic into sticky strands of galvanised weirdness, Hull’s Fonda 500 are hardy chaps indeed. Not for them the stoic truisms of conventional pop wisdom. Nor does the mercurial lure of lo-fi’s workshy dictum carry any import.
Instead, the bedroom-bound fivesome are dabblers in an altogether more intriguing brand of noisenikery; a restless, wild-eyed creature that devours ramshackle psychedelia and scattershot Krautrock-isms while maintaining a frighteningly assured grip on pop’s mighty yarbles. Yet, like a dysfunctional pinball machine, Fonda 500’s muse is virtually impossible to hold down.
The result is that much of ‘8 Track Sound System’ (which was recorded entirely in the bedrooms of its young members) sounds like an exercise in scrapbook aestheticism – a breathlessly eclectic collection of seemingly arbitrary sound effects and samples. Thus, ‘Passing Thru’ is ‘Girl From Ipanema’ as played by a drunken Salvation Army, while the wispily lovely ‘Slumbertime’ sees Gordon The Gopher squeak sweetly while somebody tries – and fails – to tune into the World Service. But though their fiery-hearted resourcefulness can occasionally irritate (see ‘Ecoutez Les Grande Animaux Radio’) there’s a marvellously defiant pop backbone supporting Fonda 500’s every move.
Messy, confusing and daft. And utterly wonderful for it.