Don Broco
Amazing Things


4.0
excellent

Review

by Simon K. STAFF
December 4th, 2021 | 32 replies


Release Date: 09/17/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Break into your house like, yeah. Messing up your shit like, yeah. Shoes up on your cream sofa get inside your head like…

Imagine it for a second – you’re listening to “Gumshield”, the opening track to Don Broco’s fourth full-length LP. You’re observing the masterfully built-up swells that narrate the song; the verse grips you with its seductive and gradual incline into explosive, epic, crescendos reserved to make you feel like you’re soaring with the eagles, with a tornado of heavy grooves and riffs in the horizon awaiting your arrival, so they can pummel you back down into the dirt for the proceeding verse. With that, you venture deeper into the rabbit hole and enjoy the album’s numerous compositions that utilise this template with a mantra-like quality. You’re in awe at the grand scope of the songwriting: the orchestra, the synths, the heavy-duty grooves, and the serenade of vocal melodies handled by Rob Damiani and Matt Donnelly. It all culminates into a deeply gratifying heavy rock experience that has tangible depth to it. Then after a few listens, your ears finally gravitate towards the lyrics in “Gumshield” and you realise this bustling vigour and zealotic purpose is spearheading a narrative about a dude body slamming in the pit. Evidentially, the gumshield is there to “protect him from himself” as he throws himself into the masses, backed only with sheer will and the heroic soundtrack Don Broco composes for him.

To a layman this contrast may sound messy, however, Don Broco makes it work, and efficiently I might add. After fully absorbing Technology at the time, I eventually realised the lyrics were hilariously outrageous and surprisingly easy to overlook, because of how well the grand instrumentals overshadow them. Conversely, their middleclass dude-bro aesthetics were a perfidious veil as well, used to accentuate themes of excess – however, you'd be kidding yourself to believe this was done with earnest intentions. The hypermasculine jock presentation permeates every inch of Don Broco, to the point of making the band name a living, breathing character: the chunky guitars represent the vein-riddled biceps popping out of Don Broco’s tight Gucci shirt; the lush orchestra and energetic synths front his vanity and hedonistic lifestyle; while the lyrics represent Broco’s unhinged, obnoxious, happy-go-lucky demeanour. Indeed, back in 2018 the band caught me off guard somewhat, as I tried to ascertain whether this was being ironic or not. Thankfully, it was, but it wasn’t all that obvious at the time.

This is the distinction between Don Broco and a band like Electric Six, say. With Electric Six its comedy is overt, since the music represents their themes. With Don Broco, for the uninitiated, their heavy, groove-laden rock music and posh image could easily misconstrue their lyrics as being unironic, and completely out of touch with reality. Thankfully, Don Broco is fully aware of what they’re doing, and with that, Amazing Things goes all in with that motif, as they play the music straight, while subtly winking at you with their outrageous themes. The first half of this LP is absolutely frothing with massive tunes – big riffs, huge melodies being bounced across the spectrum like a game of tennis (achieved with Matt and Rob’s very different vocal styles accommodating each other), and a multifaceted handling on instrumentation. Sure, the second half of the record loses some of its momentum, with songs like “Bruce Willis” and “Bad 4 Ur Health” coming across as more annoying than funny, but on the whole, the album is crammed with disparate styles in mind and will have you hooked until the end. Next to Technology this is a much more enjoyable album as well, since it’s more concise, focused and less bloated than its predecessor. Overall, there’s a lot here for rock fans to like, but there’s just as much atmospheric synth here to sway people that way too. Regardless, this is an absolute blast to sit through, and is one of the best carefree albums you are likely to hear in 2021.




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user ratings (59)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2021


17344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i was hoping someone was going to review this, but no one did. doing the blurb for the q4 playlist put a fire up my ass to give this the exposure it deserves.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2021


9403 Comments


Album stream:
http://sharptonerecords.bandcamp.com/album/don-broco-amazing-things

Gonna read later in the day.

Digging: Kold Front - Kold Front

Purpl3Spartan
December 4th 2021


2341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Heck yea

This needed a review very badly. Thanks for doing it

Digging: Geese - Projector

JoyfulPlatypus
December 4th 2021


355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Awh man I love ‘Bruce Willis’ AND ‘Bad 4 Ur Health!’ Lol good review though.

Purpl3Spartan
December 4th 2021


2341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

One true prince is so good

thecheatisnotdead
December 4th 2021


1110 Comments


Overdue review, but worth the wait, this album absolutely slaps.

I also agree with the whole wondering-about-the-irony of it all, but then I feel like the lyrics of tracks like "Uber" (or "Pretty" from Technology, for that matter) belie how straight-faced they play it.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2021


17344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks guys.



i just revisited technology for the first time in ages and this one is next level in terms of writing. it's much more fun to jam and the lyrics hone right in on some fucking stupid themes lol



revenge body is a classic

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2021


3857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

hell yeah, great review

album's a lot of fun but i do get kind of tired of it after a while, reckon these guys could make an absolutely insane 5-track ep tho

Digging: yourboyfriendsucks! - Episode 1

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2021


16286 Comments


this has been getting quite the roll out - i didnt even know they were that big

Digging: I Concur - Able Archer

Mort.
December 4th 2021


16979 Comments


never guessed this band would end up being as fun as they are now

Digging: Frank Zappa - Hot Rats

jouroboros
December 4th 2021


178 Comments


One True Prince is a masterpiece of a song. I've had it on repeat lately

RogueNine
December 5th 2021


4922 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It makes me want to shout JUST LIKE EVERYONE right along with him.

SteakByrnes
December 5th 2021


25981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album rules, Gumshield is one of my favorite songs this year ez

Digging: Kaizo Slumber - The Kaizo Manifesto

SitarHero
December 6th 2021


13781 Comments


"never guessed this band would end up being as fun as they are now"

TBH they've been this fun since Automatic. I'm not really feeling the album as much as Technology or Automatic though. One True Prince is great and the record doesn't outstay its welcome the way their albums tend to, but they're leaning so heavily into the hooks over substance aspect of the songwriting that it's beginning to grate a bit.

alamo
December 6th 2021


4516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm nodding my head like yeah, moving my hips like yeah

InFlamesWeThrash666
December 6th 2021


10286 Comments


Gumshield is a jam but i couldn't get into anything else from here

Beardog
December 6th 2021


4163 Comments


idk about this one, not reallyl my style i think

Ebola
December 6th 2021


4251 Comments


I like this band, but this did nothing for me.

Calc
December 6th 2021


16822 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

god I did not like this when it came out maybe I should try again. I read your summary like that miley cyrus song was that intentional?

JesusCage
December 7th 2021


428 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This guys are fun! Great album.

Not everything hits like Gumshield, but it's pretty solid.

'Everybody' stays as their most infectious song to me.



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