Named for a football accident resulting in guitarist Simon Delaney’s broken wrist (after the very understated name “Club Sex” didn’t quite work out for them), Bedford band Don Broco could be described as quintessential lad rockers. Since their first national tour in 2008, the boys have continued to bring their energetic alternative rock to audiences through an endless run of festival appearances, and support slots for bands like Enter Shikari, We Are The Ocean and more recently You Me At Six. Following on from their 2012 debut LP Priorities is Automatic. The quartet’s sophomore effort maintains the cheeky vivacity and animated blend of rock and pop characteristic of their debut, but reveals a much sleeker, conscious use of glossy pop sensibilities – a decision that was calculated, according to frontman Rob Damiani.
Opening track Superlove reveals the band’s considered approach to the album from the outset, with crisp runs in perfect unison between Delaney’s guitar and bassist Tom Doyle. These motifs make recurring appearances throughout the song, later joined in rhythmic unison by drummer Matt Donnelly. The fast-paced track makes use of Damiani and Doyle’s complementing voices, especially in its soaring chorus. While the lyrics of the album’s title track fall quite far short of poetic mastery, no doubt its anthemic chorus of ooh’s and rhetoric questions will have teens enthusiastically singing along at this summer’s festivals.
Opening with acoustic guitar, single What You Do To Me ends up sounding like the wanton groove of a noughties boyband until the more electric-driven chorus. Nerve provides a more solemn contrast to the rest of the album’s upbeat frenzy, but retains the band’s knack for singalong hooks, epitomised by the infectiously simple Fire. I Got Sick somewhat awkwardly explores the realities of crushes and lovesickness in a modern world saturated by social media and the notorious “facebook stalk”, while Keep On Pushing surveys life’s conventional expectations (family, job, house) in a similar fashion.
While unsophisticated lyrics are the album’s biggest downfall, Don Broco’s sleek pop-rock alchemy is undeniably infectious. Their ability to create a range of inescapable choruses – marrying infectious melodies and intelligent, soaring instrumental layers – on every single track sets the outfit apart from many other British pop-rock quartets.