Admittedly, I’m not as much a DON BROCO fan as I am a fan of Dominar Films, the geniuses behind most of Technology’s accompanying music videos. ‘Everybody’ was already a good song, but it’s best experienced alongside its video, in which a cowboy cult induces Stockholm syndrome through line dancing. Technology doesn’t manage to exemplify the same kind of weirdness, but it’s still stylistically daring compared to the quartet’s previous output.
The titular track does not open with the bang this album deserves. Actually, the album’s track ordering baffles me. Similar sounding songs are placed in pairs, like non-identical twins - and of the two, there’s clearly a favourite child. ‘Technology’ is a solid song, but its songwriting relies too much on cliché, and I’m vexed by the edgy lyrical attempts to explicate the frustrations of modern society, which unfortunately continue through the whole release. ‘Stay Ignorant’ is stylistically parallel, but it’s obvious that the band have pushed themselves far more: the laddish, half-chanted verses are minimally arranged against a thumping dance beat, making unlikely but endearing bedfellows with the chorus and its greater rhythmic and harmonic complexity.
Similar sounding songs are placed in pairs, like non-identical twins, and of the two, there's clearly a favourite child
The sequence of ‘Everybody’ followed by ‘Greatness’ is another offender. Both rely on tight bass grooves, an interplay of syncopated guitar and vocals, an elegant, catchy melody, and, most importantly, the right amount of cowbell. But while ‘Everybody’ is a dance-rock anthem and a masterclass in how skilful arrangement can make a good song great, ‘Greatness’ is like its underdeveloped reprise, marred by the ad nauseam repetition of its weaker hook, which can’t be hammered into memorability no matter how many vocals are layered on top of it.
There are however several moments of genius, like the way the poppy, intentionally superficial sheen of ‘Come Out to LA’ is followed by the heavier ‘Pretty’, the latter of which is another example of impeccable arrangement and production. Some tracks don’t commit to the feeling they’re trying to provoke, like ‘T-Shirt Song’, ‘Something to Drink’ and ‘Got To Be You’, which all cynically ride the pop rock wave with little in the way of new content. ‘Pretty’ isn’t like that; it works because it’s unapologetically simple, and because it has full confidence in its main riff. It’s a smooth blend of electronic and rock, exploiting lead vocalist Damiani’s massive stylistic range.
Likewise, ‘Potty Mouth’ concludes the album with a real sense of resolution: the synth and bass which were in dialogue for the previous tracks are finally in unison. This song also features the best rendition of the Marmite vocalisations and playground chants previously used on ‘Porkies’ and ‘Good Listener’. I have to give credit to the boys down south: while not all of their risks pay off, their most memorable tracks are the ones which dare to do something new. There isn’t the space to sing any more praises about the tracks in question, but be sure to give ‘¥’ and ‘Blood in the Water’ a listen if you weren’t taken with the singles; both absolutely embody DON BROCO’s newfound experimental spirit.