Don Broco – Priorities

donbroco | Don Broco – PrioritiesThere’s no need to be afraid of Don Broco’s ‘Priorities’. Yes, I’m talking squarely to you, sixteen-year-old NME-reading male. Never mind that they have a name scientists can’t unravel or that the frontman Rob Damiani in a vest confuses you profoundly. Or that he sounds like Him-From-Lostprophets. These details are misleading. Many, many kids around the country are chain-smoking menthols and losing their shit to Don Broco RIGHT NOW because they write tunes that punch you in the face. The album’s gone Top 30 in fact, though you may not have heard. The singer sometimes uses colloquial phrases, such ‘fob off’, if you need proof of credibility…

The music is great without any bullshit. Instantly catchy, full of resourceful melodies on the right side of melisma, nibble riffs and power-pop choruses. Is it heavy? Well it’s loud, but Don Broco’s biggest strengths are Rob’s matured themes and a band that casually goes from funk (‘Hold On’) to FM-rock jitter (‘Whole Truth’) to Foos-like rawk (‘Priorities’). While the music may be adolescent, the lyrical bent is gifted with being a tad older. The title track’s ‘end of a bromance’ tale could have been handled with thoughtless sexism, but instead it grasps onto the mourning for childhood friendships, conveying the hurt felt by friends that come to have only one priority, their lovers, as life goes on. ‘Hold On’ also deals with adult responsibilities, this time depicting a Dorian Gray-style predator getting his end away (‘Exotic fruits, delicious treats/Control your mind, it’s mine to keep’) without any emotional involvement at all (‘If I said I remembered what your name was I’d be lying/Told you my real name then I was lying’). It’s not a million miles away from ‘Brianstorm’ deep down, musically or lyrically.

There is, of course, a lot of tribalism to pop music and vast chasms can develop between these people here and those people over there. But Don Broco possess the classic boys-in-a-band triple threat: hooks, looks and confessional lyricism. And something for the tweens to dance to, and memorable riffs, and refreshingly level-headed introspection. There will be things here for a lot of different listeners, so don’t let that name put you off.