One could argue that Amazing Things is actually a concept album of sorts, with an overarching narrative about the self-examination and self-flagellation that goes into making a record. It’s a theory given credence by just how interrelated the writing of many of the songs were from one another. While Uber provided the inflammatory kindling for Amazing Things, Anaheim finds Rob wrestling with his obligations as a songwriter in the aftermath of that incident, pondering how he should and shouldn’t be using his platform as an artist. One True Prince subsequently sees Rob chide his own inflated sense of importance, recognising that he’s just one man in a band of four commenting on issues that affect billions.
Surprisingly, Don Broco contemplating our insignificance in the world makes these songs more, rather than less, important because of the band’s awareness they only get this shot once and empathy and entertainment don’t have to be mutually exclusive. If this makes Amazing Things sound amazingly serious, it is, but not all the time. Some tracks are exactly as they appear to be and have no hidden depths or layered social commentary. Bruce Willis, for example, is simply an exercise in wish fulfilment from a vocalist desperate to get a catchphrase from one of his favourite films into a song. It may well also be the rowdiest thing Don Broco have put their name to.
Fascinating themes are thankfully paired with similarly captivating music, blending styles and unusual instrumentation with the abandon of a band tossing caution into a hurricane. It’s done so deftly, in fact, that in the context of the full album, Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan, the first single, sounds awkward and jarring next to other, sleeker beasts that pack a more nuanced punch. It’s still powerful, of course, though arguably more for its comments on toxic fandom.