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Donkey is the mediocre second outing Brazilian electro rockers CSS – will it show that they have more substance beyond being a mere good-time party band?

Rating: 6 / 10

Paul Nolan, 21 Jul 2008

CSS burst onto the scene last year with their brilliant single ‘Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above’. They were a superb live act, combining anthemic rock tunes with scintillating dance rhythms, and, of course, they had a hugely charismatic singer in the lycra-clad Lovefoxx. The key question is – will Donkey show that CSS have more substance beyond being a mere good-time party band?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. The album does boast eleven serviceable songs that will provide a decent soundtrack for any shindig, but it affirms the suspicion that CSS are a bit of a one-trick pony. That said, their limited artistic palette would be eminently forgivable if Donkey had a track comparable in excellence to ‘Let’s Make Love’; regrettably, it is highly unlikely that any of the tunes here will repeat that song’s international success.

In particular, the straightforward rock tracks are seriously devoid of inspiration. ‘Rat Is Dead (Rage)’ is punk-by-numbers, all shrieking guitars and pounding drums, while both ‘Give Up’ and ‘Left Behind’ are sterile rockers bereft of melodic dynamism. To be fair, whilst CSS remain an unconvincing punk outfit, they still have the ability to rustle up a killer dance groove.

‘Jager Yoga’, ‘Reggae All Night’ and ‘Move’ are undeniably all electro-rockers par excellence, and will no doubt go down a storm in a live setting. Overall, though, Donkey proves to be an all too aptly named record; it’s definitely a workaday mule as opposed to a majestic thoroughbred.

Key Track: ‘Reggae All Night’

Rating: 6 / 10
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