Here we are, here is Don Broco and this is what we can do.
It’s difficult for me to seem objective about Don Broco, but you’ll just have to trust me with this one. It’s been a pleasure to follow their career from a ‘band of guys who I used to go to school with’ to a ‘band appearing at all the major British rock festivals, getting played on Radio 1 and releasing an album on a Sony label’. That label is Search and Destroy Records and it’s some well-deserved assistance after years of grafting to get support slots and self-releasing singles and EPs like Big Fat Smile.
Priorities is the culmination of Rob, Simon, Matt and Tom (and former bassist Luke, who was still involved in this project)’s hard work. This is them putting the finished article on the table. Here we are, here is Don Broco and this is what we can do.
It’s a very digestible 35 minutes made up of 11 tracks that show off a much more polished and mature sound than anything we’ve heard before. What remains from their earlier stuff is the sense of fun that runs through the whole thing. Thematically it’s a little more down to earth than what we’re used to, but you can’t miss the occasional cheesy lyric – try “I’ve seen the game played quite a bit, but this really takes the biscuit” (“Actors”) or “we’ll never get fat, ‘cause we jump around like prats” (“Yeah Man”).
The album kicks off with title track “Priorities”, which calls out that mate we’ve all had that is slipping away under the control of an overbearing girlfriend. That’s where the lyrics come from across the album – a series of problems we face day to day. It gets quite emotional in places, but never soppy – “Yeah man, I know that you are broke, ‘cause I’m broke – let’s be broke together” (“Yeah Man”).
There are too many stylistic variations from track to track for me to try and explain them all here. Every song feels different, while sharing one common trait – they all rock. Take “Fancy Dress”, which features a euphoric guitar section that instantly sends you away to a muddy festival field and then just when you least expect it, like so many of the tracks, hits you in the face with a powerful, shredding chorus. Then you’ve got “Let’s Go Back to School” that could appear on the soundtrack to an American Pie movie, but a distinctively British one1. “Whole Truth” has the best of both of the aforementioned songs.
We finish on “Actors”, a song you’ve probably heard if you’ve been following the build-up to this release. For me it’s the stand out track that showcases the best of everything that comes before it. Rob and Matt’s vocals sound better than ever together, there’s another one of those choruses that hit you out of nowhere (in fact, the song starts with it) and strings? Yeah it’s got strings.
You’ve just got to go out of your way to hear this. Don Broco have delivered a fresh and exciting album with all new material that shows off just how much they’ve grown up as a band. It has been a pleasure watching them get this far, and I hope this is the catalyst for the start of something special.
Final word on Priorities is easy: I love it. I fucking love it, love it.
Don Broco’s Priorities will be released via Search and Destroy Records on Monday, August 13th. You can pre-order the Deluxe Edition on iTunes now:
1I guess a British comedy version of American Pie would be one where they never get to all have sex at the end, but obviously as Don Broco are involved, they would.