This week sees the anticipated release of Don Broco’s powerhouse of a new album – Technology (2nd Feb 2018). On a first listen, this album definitely packs a punch. It captures everything that you could want from a Don Broco album, contrasting charismatic vocals with confrontational, dirty guitar riffs. Frontman Rob Damiani describes Technology as a reaction to their last record – Automatic. “We wrote that album as a test of our traditional songwriting abilities, but Technology was all about keeping ourselves on our toes. For this record we didn’t set any rules, it just had to feel good.” As a whole, the album perfectly captures that no rules vibe as it doesn’t set up any particular expectations, then throughout the tracks the pace and vibe varies – twisting back and forth with each track being as powerful as the last!
In all honesty, I could talk about this album for days! But instead I’m going to tell you about some of my favourite tracks; the first one being the title and opening track – ‘Technology’ – it’s one that deserves to be played LOUD. The intro sets the pace for the track, as well as the album, before throwing you in at the deep end. It’s raw and it’s dirty and that’s how we like it. ‘Technology’ certainly delivers. The confrontational energy holds out throughout the first part of the track, contrasting with Rob’s charismatic vocals that go down so smoothly. Lyrically the track is an observation of modern day life with Rob explaining, “’Technology’ is about a casual swipe through Instagram that ended up in me unfollowing a load of mates. In reality my friends are not vain, self obsessed, PDA loving show offs so I’m blaming social media and the habitual nature of sharing every waking moment of your life online,” – which in itself is a prominent part of society. The chorus is very catchy and you’re singing along in no time at all. Later in the track, the energy is pulled back which showcases Rob’s vocals again, and starts to build anticipation. You can really feel how much impact this track would have live, setting up to flood a venue with pure (fun) chaos. It then pushes your head back under and the relentless energy takes over again.
If you’re still standing and breathing after the perfect start to this absolutely massive album then you’re in for a treat. Track 3 is another highlight of mine – ‘T-Shirt Song’. This track still packs a punch but it feels more melodic and pretty due to it being one of the most emotional songs from the record, with an interesting backstory it seems with Rob describing is as being “ inspired by a close friend who had just been through a dark break-up. While writing the song it was also a difficult time for me emotionally, and one night I found myself in a club where the DJ was playing the Baywatch theme tune. Anyone who’s been to a cheesy club night will know this is the moment everyone takes off their T-shirt and swings it round their head. I didn’t really feel like it, but I joined in and as stupid as it sounds it really made me feel better. That was the start of the process by which I came to realise there was light at the end of the tunnel. This song is about going through hell and coming out the other side stronger for it.” On a deeper level, this track is more relatable and shows a glimmer of hope for those going through a darker time. This track will get you moving regardless of where you are. It showcases guitar riffs that are harmonious yet just as gritty as the rest of the album. It carries a huge, deep sound that will shake you at the core. Sing along to this one.
Funnily enough another track that stood out to me is ‘Come Out To LA’. It presents us with another sound, with the intro and chorus feeling a lot more poppy – which is something that has touched Don Broco’s earlier work. Then it explodes into this harsher entity that is seen in the rest of the album. The track itself has so much character, becoming ‘a 3-minute 29-second explosion of sarcasm aimed squarely at the music industry.’
I’m going to leave you with ‘Greatness’, which is…well…great! It combines a dirty drop-A tuned riff and cowbell. What more could you want? The track emerged from a low point for the band and it’s dripping with passion and energy. “Why would you not pursue greatness and originality and diversity?” questions Rob. “People seem quite happy with mediocrity these days. There’s a lot of great music, but there’s so much shit out there – song after song that sound the same.” If this isn’t a motivational track to make you want to push yourself then I don’t know what is.
Each track on this album is fucking strong. Musically it sets up a vibe to the sound and follows it through, yet the construction of each track varies and gives us something different every time. Lyrically it explores all kinds of emotions and carries personality in every word.
To summarise, I love it. If you are catching Don Broco on tour then you’re in for a real treat. And if you’re not then you’re missing out big time. They already have a dedicated following, but this album feels like a resurrection fro Don Broco. Listen to it.