Kurt Vile & the Violators
Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN - 5/12
Written by: TL on 09/09/2012 13:35:17
While few people outside of the UK are likely to have heard much about Don Broco yet, the pop rock quartet from Bedford have long been seen as destined for great things by the music media of their home country, gathering good press and decent festival slots already early in their career. As a consequence of the latter, I've had the opportunity to check them out live twice, before ever getting my hands on a record by them, and despite the hype, I must say that each time I've been sort of annoyed with the brash bravado they've met their audience with, yet each time I've also felt like the only person near the stage having such skeptical thoughts.
And listening to the band's debut full length "Priorities" for God knows which time this week, I'm starting to understand why I've been in a negative minority when it comes to giving Don Broco reception. Sure, the lyrics to openers "Priorities" and "Hold On" quickly establish that the boys in the band are writing from a somewhat immature "bros over ho's" mentality, but with a near perfect mixture of sharp-edged riffs, funky rhythms and catchy refrains, "Priorities" the album casts this whole attitude in a devilishly charming light, with the Broco boys coming off as young rockstar hotshots - bad boys with a code of honour, that all the guys want to be and all the girls want to be with.
If you think this sounds annoying, then you're right there in my shoes before I spent time with this record. Seriously though, listen at your own peril, because the average song on here is so stupidly catchy that your mind will be swimming with new contagious refrains after two or three listens. The opening title track, which reacts to mates bailing on you to be with girls, is only the prime example of how Don Broco will put a spin on their simpler sentiments by pinning a sticky chorus to a slamming riff and sending you on your way, singing along to lines you're not sure if you should agree with or be slightly offended by.
The first five songs in fact, have got more than enough sexyness and swagger for them to make the record a success on their own. The melodies are subtle, the rhythms, grooves and dynamics are anything but, and dance- and singalongability are consistently at an all time high. The hooks of "Hold On", "Yeah Man" and especially "Here's The Thing" are all irresistable, and straight from the opening riff of "Whole Truth" you just know that it's the kind of song you'll be in danger of soon hearing from radios everywhere.
One of the most fortunate qualities of "Priorities" as an album however, is that even when the strong flow of the music starts having a few hiccups down the stretch, Don Broco generally still bring things home by upping the tempo or just injecting more quirky hooks or guitar or bass signatures - see here "Fancy Dress", "Back In The Day" or "Let's Go Back To School". And when they slow things down among those tracks, the result is the captivating slow burn of "You Got It Girl", which showcases some excellent electronics.
The only two songs to feel sort of below par to me are "In My World" and attempted epic closer "Actors", but neither is really very far behind the pack, and both could probably have served as good songs on a weaker album. Even so, with just two songs out of eleven feeling any kind of questionable, the verdict must be that "Priorities" showcases Don Brocos as some of the most charmed young songsmiths in the blooming British modern rock scene, and makes a strong bid to make a rare entry as an actual light-hearted, good times release on some end of the year list. Bloody brilliant boys. Now get a presence and some shows in Denmark and lets bro down please.
Download: Priorities, Here's The Thing, Whole Thruth, You Got It Girl
For The Fans Of: Lower Than Atlantis, Blitz Kids, Young Guns, Kids In Glass Houses, Mallory Knox
Release Date 13.08.2012
Search & Destroy Records