Album Reviews

Bonde Do Role – With Lasers

(Domino) UK release date: 4 June 2007


You know what? It’s impossible to talk about Bonde Do Role without the letters C, S and S racing towards your lips with worrying certainty. Don’t believe me? Fine. You try.

Bonde Do Role are like… Er. No. Ok, Bonde Do Role are from Brazil, just like C… Damn. Aha! Got it! Bonde Do Role aren’t very good. Or at least, not as good as CSS… Shit.

With Lasers is a novelty record by a band who have happened upon a lucky coincidence which has swung the country from which they hail into being the new wherever the old wherever used to be.

Hell, at least CSS have tunes. Alright, one tune. Bonde Do Role seem more content to goof off, testing the number of punning song titles they can get out of their name (two, neither amusing) and dicking around with synths and vocoders, occasionally suggesting they could do something good but frankly, they can’t be arsed.

What drives With Lasers are twin obsessions, neither pretty: ’80s hair metal and tinny electronic blips. Danca Do Zombi is what would happen if the Vincent Price character from Thriller started working as a stripper in Motley Crüe‘s Girls Girls Girls video, while Solta O Frango is like the cast of Stomp playing a particularly vicious game of Virtua Tennis. You suspect they’d dearly love to find a way of wrapping them both into one song, but they never quite work out how.

Small mercies spring to mind. Live at least, they’re momentarily entertaining. Novelty undoubtedly, but at number 816 on the ‘things to do before you die’ list has to be: Have a small pigtailed woman scream at you in Portuguese. So at least you get an opportunity to cross that one off. But on record, the joke feels a whole lot less funny. Particularly when the marching kazoo band wanders past on Geremia and a sudden uncontrollable urge to Van Gogh your ears takes hold.

Still, despite all that, something salvageable does comes from it. In fact, Divine Gosa may just be brilliant. Still chock full of 8-bit electronica, but with an increasingly orgasmic cry of “Mi gusta!” it’s as if they remade J’taime by getting Jane Birkin to repeatedly slap Serge Gainsbourg in the face with a Nintendo Gameboy. And it’s both hilarious and strangely danceable.

Which is the thing. Frivolity? Frivolity is good. Frivolity fucking rocks, particularly in the occasionally po-faced business of getting people up and gyrating. What’s inexcusable for a record which should be getting the party started is so many songs which don’t induce thrusting, merely yawning. Less tired of being sexy, and more tired of life itself.

So they may well be the second best band from Brazil. Thing is, who can name the third?


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