Don Broco – Technology – ALBUM REVIEW

Don Broco deserve an award for the length of Technology’s lead time.

The first single from the album, Everybody, was released back in July 2016. Over the course of the past 20 months the band have released five other singles from their third full-length, keeping fans sated as the highly anticipated release date approached.

The singles show a startling amount of range, veering from guitar-driven Pretty (which has a frankly ridiculous amount of random sounds and effects, but somehow works perfectly) to Stay Ignorant, which builds from an understated verse to a tender bridge via the full-frontal aural assault of the chorus.

T-Shirt Song is a particular highlight, vocalist Rob Damiani crooning, “I take my t-shirt off, swing it around my head” during a piano-driven section which makes the song deceptively emotive. Compared to Skindred’s Warning and You Me At Six’s Reckless – both songs known for inciting t-shirt swinging in a live environment – T-Shirt Song can be described as beautiful, but if it gets the job done it doesn’t matter that it’s a slower piece.

With six songs showcased prior to release you might think that the majority were already available, but you’d be mistaken. Technology is comprised of fourteen songs, with two bonus tracks and a hidden track completing the deluxe edition. It’s a sprawling collection, but it maintains a startling level of cohesion.

This is achieved due to the unique nature of Don Broco’s sound. At points, it’s as though the instruments of bassist Tom Doyle and guitarist Simon Delaney are having a conversation, guitar and basslines intricately weaving together and becoming almost inseparable. This is particularly evident during Stay Ignorant and Greatness.

Meanwhile, drummer Matt Donnelly steps into the role of co-vocalist throughout the album. Donnelly performs lead vocals on Come Out To LA, but he contributes a notable amount to the majority of the tracks on Technology. His tone perfectly complements that of Damiani, who pushes his voice to its full potential, hitting previously unexplored notes during both The Blues and Tightrope.

Technology is the sound of a band with a mission in mind. Criticising those who obsess over social media “non-stop, 24/7”, this album is social commentary at its finest. Good Listener addresses the possibility of devices listening into your conversations (“So I’m talking to my mum and she asks what I’m having for tea/Then I turn my Google on, up it pops, rice and chili con carne”), while Come Out To LA explores the rise and fall of the fame hungry who “break down in Hollywood”.

Then there’s bonus track Potty Mouth, which appears to be a direct attack aimed at the band’s previous record label, Sony. The Bedford four-piece released one album via Sony – Automatic ­– a release which threw them into the mainstream but also caused the band to lose the style they’d carefully honed on debut album Priorities. With a lacklustre “la-la-la-la-la” Damiani mocks the easy singalong vocals which ran rampant on their previous album, while Donnelly states “They don’t want no potty mouth on the radio”, an obvious criticism of the current state of the music industry.

Don Broco have managed to blend the best elements of their first two releases, and Technology is bound to appeal to those who have followed the band since the beginning and those who have only recently discovered them. With Bring Me The Horizon’s influence shining through on Porkies and ¥ seeming to be a response to Sia’s Chandelier, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more interesting album (with the exception of Got To Be You, the only forgettable song out of the 14).

It’s only February, and Don Broco may have just released 2018’s best record.

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