Words: Harry Fuller
Ever since the release of their mean, lean, 2015 breakthrough second LP ‘Automatic,’ Don Broco have made a name for themselves as one of the biggest names out of the UK metal scene. The Bedford four piece, who have been active since 2008, have continued to into their own over the past five years, with the release of their massive third LP ‘Technology’ in early 2018, and the release of the 2019 single ‘Action’ featuring big names in the metal scene such as Tyler Carter and Caleb Shomo of Beartooth fame. Considering this insane upward trajectory for the band, high expectations were put on their fourth LP, ‘Amazing Things,’ released towards the latter end of 2021.
In fact, in a lot of ways the bands previous album ‘Technology’ is similar to the bands newest LP ‘Amazing Things,’ due to both albums focusing on one main concept: the rise of smart technology, and sports/toxic respectively.
And Amazing Things manages to start off with an absolutely explosive start with the two opening tracks ‘Gumshield’ and lead single ‘Manchester Super Reds No. 1 Fan.’ ‘Gumshield’ manage to bring the listener right into the mix with super low-end guitars and electronic production, with ‘Manchester Super Reds No. 1 Fan’ featuring lyrics of toxic fan culture and metric changes throughout. It’s a great way to start the album and brings the listener right in.
This level of energy is further explored throughout the first leg of the album, even cuts like ‘Swimwear Season’ starting off mellow but later building up. ‘Endorphins’ and ‘One True Prince’ continue this experimentation with electronic production, with ‘Endorphins’ featuring a much heavier sound even for the band, and easily one of the best choruses the band has written up to this point. Mellow cut ‘One True Prince’ featuring great vocal work from both Rob Damiani and Matt Donnelly respectively and an amazing key change towards the end of the cut.
A quick shoutout is deserved to producers Jason Perry and Dan Lancaster, whos production work with the band has been all but immaculate up until this point. On Amazing Things, however the level production is, well, amazing. Perry and Lancaster are both able to effortlessly combine elements of electronic music a low end mix without any of the tracks sounding muddy whatsoever. It’s genuinely impressive work from a pure audio-engineering perspective.
And whilst ‘Amazing Things’ is certainly front heavy with its tracklist, there are still a lot of great cuts towards the end of the album. Tracks like ‘Uber’ continue using elements of electronic music, with Bruce Willis even featuring a piano intro with vocals from drummer Matt Donnelly before again entering into a huge mix of guitar work and percussion, and a main hook quoting Bruce Willis’ iconic line from Die Hard. The final track on the album, ‘Easter Sunday,’ features a more introspective side to the lyrics of the impact of COVID-19 on both the world and the group person (with the lyrics “What A Sacrifice Of Life” serving as the main hook of the track).
‘Easter Sunday ‘serves as a fitting way to end ‘Amazing Things,’ with the album having a unique level of social commentary throughout that was explore [as previously mentioned] on the bands latter album ‘Technology.’ And whilst ‘Amazing Things’ can seem quite samey at points, it never feels like it’s being truly repetitive, with excellent production by both Perry and Lancaster. and the band introducing and exploring enough new ideas throughout the 12 tracks to make ‘Amazing Things’ one of the best rock releases of the past year.
Watch Endorphins here: