On their long-awaited third record, UK group Don Broco follow their own advice, given at about the album’s halfway point: “Give me all your fucking greatness, or give me nothing at all.” It’s a bold statement of intent, but when a song like “Greatness” can combine a sleazy walking bass line with a huge central riff (not to mention an even more massive hook), you know the group aren’t messing around. Considering that song is as great a modern take on Michael Jackson’s style as Alien Ant Farm’s now classic cover, Technology absolutely fucking brings the greatness.
What has helped elevate Don Broco from their British rock contemporaries is their inability to be pinned down. Post-hardcore, British post-punk revival, R&B, Michael Jackson, Prince, Deftones, and U2 (among many others) are all reference points throughout these 16 songs; however, it’s a massive credit to the group that these disparate influences are brought together in a surprisingly cohesive whole. Vocalist Rob Damiani’s dexterous vocals and Simon Delaney’s riffs are the glue that keeps everything together. Whether it’s a synth-heavy banger, “Pretty”, the garage rocker “Everybody”, or the more traditional anthem “T-Shirt Song”, massive riffs and killer hooks will always be on the musical menu. When Don Broco are firing on all cylindars (read: the vast majority of Technology), absolutely no other band can write such technically impressive and lasting earworms. The opening half-hour of the record may be the most purely enjoyable musical experience I’ve had in years, and these songs pack a deep and lasting impression.
It’s also good thing the band play around with their style, as it’s tough to maintain attention for that long, and given the album’s themes of the issues with technology and human connection, the length seems intentional. It’s a credit to the members’ skills that Technology barely falters, though a couple of the later album tunes (“Something to Drink” and “Porkies”) don’t quite hit the highs of the rest of the record. That said, Don Broco’s latest is full of broad-spectrum hits that should appeal to anyone who likes a catchy ditty; the fact that there’s an impressive thematic depth, and some delightfully dense musicianship, will keep you revisiting this one for a long time.