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Don Broco // Priorities

By now, Don Broco are so familiar to their fans that if frontman Rob Damiani woke up naked in their bathtub, they’d probably wait till he was done with his bacon sarnie before asking where he’d been, let alone how he got there. With plenty of self-released E.P.s and mini-albums as the warm up act, the four lads from Bedford debut a set of tracks conceived in their rehearsal studio/tour van, which are a little on the brutish side, but certainly varied and hook driven.

As a keen example of the experimentation in alt-rock styles, the band unveil a funk infused guitar riff to ‘Hold On’, which follows their defining slogan-like title track ‘Priorities’. Having broken into the Itunes rock chart, this lad’s lament of losing a friend to man’s greatest weakness (the one with the breasts) comprises Don Broco’s song writing style: mundane yet relatable subject matter projected on a level benign enough to absorb, but lacking in complicated worth smithing.

But given the fixed age range, interests and clothing brand of the band’s legions of fans, maybe songs that appear as child’s play but actually talk about something more profound may hold great worth to the listener. Case in point ‘Let’s Go Back To School’, a song whose very title demonstrates its lack of subtext, but the message of how education will actually serve us years down the line is something I wouldn’t have minded dancing to when I was in my late teens, so I’m fine with its bluntness.

And hey, if the lyrics “I‘ve seen the game played quite a bit, but this really takes the biscuit” in ‘Actors’ is a little too silly, you’ll have to work harder to lay an excuse for not liking energy so raw you’ll yearn to see it played live, and an addictive vocal arrangement.

In fact its lingering effect is the best way to describe the actual instrumentalage of Priorities. It’s filled with head clawing segments designed to escape the generic appeal of the band’s contemporaries. Segments such as the spiraling down chorus of ‘Here’s The Thing’, the rhythmic ‘highs and lows’ in ‘Fancy Dress’ that dance like a nutter in your ear drum and portions of ‘In My World’ that demonstrate how great a British singer Damiani is purely by how distinct his accent is.

Where disappointment lies in the album is mainly in the lack of a good acoustic number. Obviously, if you grabbed the ‘Priorities’ single you know what I mean and wouldn’t need to see it here, but using that same tonal shift the toned down version adds would work wonders with an original piece.

Don Broco’s first rodeo on a major label shows they’ve got a bit more maturing in terms of lyricism to go, with most tracks, even when they tackle big subjects like the economy, opting for colorful but ultimately crude words. Yet the music itself is snappy, strongly structured and ultimately satisfying to listen to.

Words > Graham Ashton

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