ALBUM REVIEW: Don Broco – Amazing Things
Photo Credit: Tom Pullen
Off the back of their huge record Technology, which saw the boys from Bedford take on arenas in the UK, it’s fair to say Don Broco may have been feeling the pressure with their fourth album, Amazing Things.
With issues relating to physical copies of the record, which led to it being postponed once (and nearly twice), this is an album that fans have been gagging to get their teeth into for months, and it is vintage Broco.
Regardless of the ‘technical issues’, Don Broco know how to hype a record. The music videos from their Technology-era were priceless and they certainly continued this trend into Amazing Things, by gaining the help of cult-hero boxer Dave Allen for the release of their opener Gumshield.
“Do I have to body slam everybody in the room to prove my point” are lyrics that deserved to be tattooed on someone’s chest. Despite a slightly annoying synth throughout the track, the opener does a brilliant job of setting the tone for this frustrated record – and what a way to do it.
Lead single Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan is one of the songs of the summer. Its fantastically rapped lyrics about societal issues such as climate change make it one of our favourite songs of the year. The sonic elements, the breakdown, the vocal delivery – there is just so much to love about this track. The bridge that leads to the final chorus is absolute quality. As Rob Damiani sings “I like to go berserk then trap the thirst, I like to fuck the world then save the earth,” accompanied by a trippy synth and when the galloping drums kick in, followed by that Matt Donnelley chorus – it’s insane.
Listening through the rest of the record, the Deftones inspired One True Prince has caught the eyes of many music fans. Its melodic tones, and slower yet heavy guitar parts set it apart from the rest of the record and display the sheer talent of the band, as well as their ability to change up their sound without sounding forced or unnatural.
Another single, Uber, is perhaps a weaker point in the record. Its main hook of “Been a long night, Imma call Uber” really fails to set the record alight, although the track’s content, which details the band’s experience of a racist Uber driver, is sadly very relevant in today’s society. The message could be delivered in a better way, rather than calling out the whole company.
As you reach the final third of the record, Broco continue to show their creative side. How Are You Done with Existing almost feels like the soundtrack to a Hollywood film about the end of the world. Bruce Willis displays Simon Delaney’s talent of coming up with catchy, funky riffs, and although the yippy yi yay chorus feels a bit lazy and spoofy, the instrumental to this track shows that the four-piece will really try any sound.
Revenge Body touches on similar lyrical themes to the band’s previous work of social media pains, annoying gym people we all know, and small things that get on your tits. The opening section of Bad 4 Ur Health sounds eerily similar to Beat 54 (All Good Now) by Jungle, and the track fails to really set alight sadly.
Amazing Things closes with Easter Sunday, a track about the three uncles drummer/singer Donnelley lost in the space of a month to COVID. Its lyrical themes of comparing Easter Sunday to Donnelley’s own personal loss is a fascinating concept, and the track builds very nicely, finishing almost prematurely which leaves you wanting a bit more from a song with so much meaning behind it.
To conclude, Amazing Things is a vibrant, interesting album that does get it right more than it does not. There is no denying that it is a top-heavy record, as the first half hosts some incredible tracks and really shows Don Broco at their absolute peak.
The band struggle to keep this momentum going into the second half of their record. They are by no means ‘bad tracks’, they just leave you wanting more. It’s also tough to tell what Amazing Things wants to be – half the time it’s a bit of a laugh, half the time it’s quite serious – and Don Broco struggle to teeter the line of what they want the LP to be. Although, this may not be the band’s best record, it’s by no means a bad record.
Standout Tracks: Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan, Endorphins, One True Prince
For Fans Of: You Me At Six, Enter Shikari, All Time Low
Written by: Joe Loughran