Review: Don Broco – Automatic

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80%
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Fantastic

The boys have made an incredible musical progression with this album.

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Don Broco are finally back on the scene with their sophmore album, Automatic. After months of teasers, video releases and even some early track releases the album is finally here. Three years is a long time to wait for a second album to come along, especially after the relative success of their debut Priorities. In a day where a lot of popular music is signed up to bigger record labels after small success there is certainly some credit due for Don Broco, having decided to do things their way and not ram second rate music down our throats.

With this album it’s clear that quality was a huge priority. All too often we see a strong debut album followed by a slump – the term “sophmore slump” didn’t just come from nowhere. After the raw lovable sound of the first album, Automatic is certainly a big leap forward. The composition of the songs is much clearer and the roles of individual instruments are far more emphasised. One of the more obvious changes is the more frequent use of drummer Matt Donnelly’s higher voice to bring a much more different dynamic to the songs on the album- this is most notable on opening track and recent single ‘Superlove’ but also on the much slower ‘Nerve’. Musically it is clear that Tom Doyle on the bass has brought a lot to the song writing process and his basslines are far more elegant than anything previously heard on Priorities.

Alongside the impressive musical development comes a change in style. Over three years a lot changes and clearly the boys from Bedford have moved along in style with these ten songs moving more towards a pop genre, and not quite as heavy as Priorites got at times. Automatic still holds that definitive Don Broco sound that got them so much attention to begin with, most notably headlined by Damiani’s punchy voice. Of all the tracks on the album ‘Tough on You’ probably lends itself to the fans of their earlier stuff the most, however as much as that’s the case for its chorus, the verses for this track are very similar to the Club Sex remixes that featured as bonus tracks on their earlier singles.

Looking at the tracks individually, it isn’t until the 5th song that we come across something brand new. ‘Superlove’ is the funky, in your face opener that’s needed to draw the listener into the album, with it’s funky bassline and flickery guitar. As a title track ‘Automatic’ smashes it out of the park, whilst ‘Fire’ is incredibly catchy due to its pop song style structure. ‘Nerve’ brings the tone down mid-album in great style. ‘Further’ has an epic feel to end the album and leaves us longing for more.

Overall the album is a definite progression musically and a step toward a slightly newer, less heavy sound.

Automatic is out now via Sony.

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Rob Damiani is love. Rob Damiani is life. Wessex Ranger first, Business Management student second.

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