UnderWerket, Copenhagen, DEN - 20/9
Thug Workout EP
Written by: PP on 22/05/2009 15:01:33
Don Broco are an unsigned four-piece hailing from Bedford, UK. They've only been together since November 2008 and yet they've already got a debut three-track demo/EP out, a tour with Enter Shikari planned out, as well as a slot on this summer's Download Festival. If that's not impressive, then I don't know what is. The recipe behind their quick success lies in their music, which, albeit still somewhat amateurish in sound, won me over on first listen through its catchy choruses, pop-hardcore hooks, and a thoroughly original sound.
In its essence, the ingredients of "Thug Workout EP" are 50% nu-metal and 50% post-hardcore. Elements from both genres are clearly audible from the half-rapped verses recalling Danish screamo hip-hoppers Puto Diablo to the breakdowns and infectious pop-hardcore choruses that have brought Victory Records darlings A Day To Remember so much success recently. "Wat'cha Gonna Do" opens the album with nu-metallish instrumentation and vocals, with a distinct male/female vocal dynamic dominating the pop chorus. The weird contrast in softer female-voice and the scratched lead vocals is what makes this song sound good. At least I think it's a female voice, but I could wrong since there aren't any girls in the band. That's besides the point anyway. There's screaming, too, but it's used sparingly enough to avoid lumping the band fully into the gray mass of screamo/post-hardcore bands out there. "Thug Workout" is pure nu-metal more-or less, bringing bands like Ill Niño into mind, but the tune has enough modern vibes to it so it doesn't sound dated at all. Still, it's easily the weakest track when put in contrast with "Wat'cha Gonna Do" or the final track "Danny Boy", both which lean much more towards pop-hardcore overall. The choruses are just much catchier in these tracks.
There are only three tracks on their debut EP, so this review was never going to be particularly long. It's an impressive result from four guys who've been in a band together for less than half a year, and definitely a promising start for the bunch. It did enough for me (and apparently Download Festival) to get me excited for what these guys could put out in the future - something which the new song "Big Game" is a nice taster for. Someone needs to sign these guys and put them in a recording studio with a proper producer. Labels reading this: sooner better than later is good.
Download: Wat'cha Gonna Do?
For the fans of: A Day To Remember, Puto Diablo
Release date November 2008