As a ‘Broco’ newbie and oblivious to the ‘lad rock’ of these Enter Shikari tour mates, my expectations rested on words heard in passing, including “weird” and “interesting”, something you’d think was fit for otherworldly synth and maybe a cowbell solo.
Back on earth, ‘Priorities’ is a pleasantly surprising basketful of rock anthems cookie-cut for live shows. This Bedford band’s debut release follows years touring alongside Lower Than Atlantis, We Are The Ocean and Deaf Havana – with the shining setlist ‘Priorities’ provides, the stage may well be commanded by them this time.
Title track and opener ‘Priorities’ is a rock behemoth, with exploding lyrics and a chorus that swells in volume. The sass and bite of lead vocalist Rob Diamani shows itself in lines like “I miss you pumpkin, I miss you babe”, delivered with sweet sarcasm. Next track ‘Hold On’ wastes no time in making Diamani’s deep vocals snappy and animated to match a quick, persevering guitar, and the song writes itself with lyric “I’m just too quick, too quick”.
The catchy chorus parade continues with ‘Whole Truth’, ‘Fancy Dress’ and ‘In My World’, but ‘Yeah Man’ and ‘Here’s The Thing’ pose a danger of floating behind, with their jumping percussion doing the same dance as former tracks, but with weaker hooks and tedious repetition. “You just fill the time” sings Diamani on ‘Here’s The Thing’, as if in admittance. Saving the procession are crowd favourites ‘Whole Truth’ and ‘Fancy Dress’, the latter with a helping of classic Fightstar charm and a touch of indie character. Upbeat ‘In My World’ caters to the lovers who are listening, and dull moments are a thing of the past as the show slows down with ‘You Got It Girl’ and its distinct percussion (more cowbell?).
Closer ‘Actors’ is an encore song if there ever was one, and the singular instance where something blowing up in your face is a good thing. Parallel vocals courtesy of Matt Donnelly make the fist-pumping a multifaceted experience, and bring back the strength of the album’s start in a forceful finish. ‘Priorities’ is an eleven-track package of feel-good foot tapping (think Every Avenue with some oh-so-alluring British accents), and even with dips in the line-up, you’ll be off your feet for it all. With generous Radio 1 play and a spot playing Reading & Leeds 2012, the ‘Year of the Broco’ will be fruitful if their live act is as infectious as their album.
‘Priorities’ is out now.
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