Set to propel them to further success, bigger shows, bigger festival appearances and more airtime…
Review by Nathan Daniel
Release date: 7 August 2015
Automatic is the second offering from beloved Bedford quartet Don Broco, whose debut album Priorities made waves in the British Rock scene, with their somewhat unconventional image (which is more like that of a boy band) and heavy pop influences unwelcome with some more puritanical fans. Don Broco now seem to draw influence largely from the 80s, adopting the cliché aesthetic of bright pink neon lights and smooth, slick white suits. Automatic is packed with power-Pop and colossal, soaring choruses. It’s bouncy, boasts much less guitar-heavy melodies and is laden with infectious sing-along harmonies and gang vocals.
The album opens with the final cut to be released prior to its release: ‘Superlove’. It sets the tone for the overall sound of the album, which is somewhat new and has an immediately different sort of vibe to their prior release. It’s a culmination of their development from the hard touring of Priorities and three years of new experiences, resulting in a substantial move in the direction of the mainstream.
The album’s title track comes as one of its most standout points – a jovial, catchy-as-hell summer tune. As to what constitutes being ‘Automatic’, a question that vocalist Rob Damiani questions throughout in the line “don’t you want to be automatic?” I’m somewhat unsure. It leads into a slower, more reserved ‘What You Do To Me’, a track that moves away from the laddish, more boisterous themes of Priorities and attitudes towards girls and into the arena of more paranoid loves songs.
It’s ‘Nerve’ that shines both as a hidden gem on the album and the most evident progression from their previous record. Although it’s still very obviously Don Broco, attributed to Rob’s distinctive vocals, it has an entirely different sound and is pure Pop gold. Rather than a track from a band that was once lashed with Hardcore soundings, you’d be more inclined to suggest that the track was lifted right from the middle of a Now That’s What I Call Music compilation.
There are indeed further notable moments on Automatic, in the form of a return to earlier sounds on the explosive ‘Money Power Fame’ and insanely catchy ‘Fire’, but, overall, it definitely lacks that ‘something special’ that Priorities seemed to have. Half of the album is a cocktail of airtime-stealing Radio Rock and Pop hooks, whilst the other, which mostly comes in the latter half, just seems like filler. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that the new sound adopted by Don Broco will propel them to further success with even bigger shows, bigger festival appearances and certainly more airtime.
7 out of 10
- What You Do To Me
- Let You Get Away
- I Got Sick
- Keep On Pushing
- Tough On You
- Money Power Fame
- Bad Feeling
- Wrong Place Wrong Time