Album Review: Don Broco ‘Technology’

Tom Pearson reviews the new Don Broco album!

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'Technology' album cover art

Don Broco’s 3rd studio album has had a long time to build up steam since they switched from Epic Records to Sharptone in the summer of 2016. After releasing their single, ‘Everybody’ in July of the same year, fans were then unaware of an album in the works. It wasn’t until the following July when the album was officially announced, alongside the third single and title track, ‘Technology’.

This track kicks off the album in typical Don Broco style, starting with a meaty riff that could have been lifted from their first album Priorities, followed by a rhythm that has you tapping your foot as if it were from their second. Whilst frontman Rob Damiani sings about social media taking over our lives, it seems apparent that you wouldn’t necessarily choose Don Broco for its lyrical content – though that isn’t the appeal of this band for most.

The album continues with 4 of the remaining 5 singles released, the highlight of which is their newest, ‘Come Out To LA’. It’s a catchy number highlighting the talents of drummer/vocalist, Matt Donnelly. However it is a track that I’m still not wholly in love with, as the parts with Damiani make him sound oddly robotic. Some could search for a metaphor here, around Hollywood or mainstream artists making carbon copy music, though this is also combined with a background that buzzes, which is ever so slightly reminiscent of the stadiums of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the vuvuzela.

If you have been following the band as they have been releasing their singles, the first time you encounter a new track is almost 20 minutes in, then you are treated to a second before another single hits your eardrums. However these two tracks, ‘The Blues’ and ‘Tightrope’, are great introductions to the band. ‘The Blues’ includes a chorus that has you hooked, along with vocal work that is very typical of Damiani and the band. ‘Tightrope’ is almost certainly going to be a staple at every show of their upcoming tour, with its hard-hitting chorus, and the ability to make you want to raise your phone flashlight/lighter/glow stick.

We now return to the single that was released back in 2016. “Everybody” is arguably the best song on the whole album, it has a great riff and memorable vocals. It is a heavy hitting, hard rock track that on occasion, really contrasts some of the other work on this album and previous ones. If you have been to any Don Broco gig since this track was released, it is a crowd pleaser, one that is *almost* on par with the likes of ‘Thug Workout’.

The album is a long one – stretching to 59 minutes once the bonus tracks are included. Unfortunately this really starts to show when you pass the halfway point. There are parts of Greatness, Porkies and Good Listener that have the potential to be good tracks; however there doesn’t seem to be anything that we haven’t heard before and it doesn’t push many boundaries when compared to their previous releases.

On the whole, ‘Technology’ seems like a step back for Don Broco. Their first album was a breakthrough for them in the Alt. Rock scene, and then with ‘Automatic’ they turned their sound into rock with funk influences that set them apart from other modern rock outfits. This time around it is just more of the same from the Bedford quartet, which is great for fans of their older work, though not so much for expanding towards new audiences. The album does have some solid tracks on it, though what I feel lets the album down the most is the structure. With all of the singles from the past year coming on strong at the start, it leaves the album feeling top-heavy, and by the time you get to the final track, ‘Something to Drink’, you will probably be feeling pretty thirsty for some tracks with a little more substance.

Technology was released on February 2nd 2018 through Sharptone Records.