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CD Reviews: Review of The Bravery by The Bravery
Harris Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com The Bravery: The Bravery (Island 2005)

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If you came of age in the ‘80s and did any sort of musical experimentation beyond the realm of the top-40, then you fondly remember the bands who defined the alternative music scene during that era: the crucial trifecta of the Smiths, the Cure, and New Order. These days, however, you’ve gotten older, gotten a proper job and started a family, and, well, frankly, music just isn’t the priority for you that it used to be. But secretly, in the back of your mind, you wish that it still were.

If this sounds in any way like you, then chin up, because there’s never been a better time for you to ease your way back into the music scene...and the Bravery are just the band to help you on your way.

If you had anticipated that the Killers’ Hot Fuss would be a better pick for that task than the Bravery’s self-titled debut – also released on Island, as it happens – your instincts aren’t entirely off base. The Bravery opens with “An Honest Mistake,” a concoction of equal parts New Order and Duran Duran, and it’s followed by “No Brakes,” which bears enough of a structural resemblance to “Mr. Brightside” for naive naysayers to suggest, “Aren’t these guys just ripping off the Killers?”

Anyone who believes this to be the case should beware, as they’re making a dangerous snap judgment.

The Killers tweaked and produced their album to within an inch of its life; while the end result is enjoyable, there’s no question that the band had a vision of how they wanted their disc to sound and didn’t stop until they’d captured that sound precisely. The Bravery, however, are far more flexible. Imagine the Strokes gone new wave, and you’re coming pretty close to the occasionally ramshackle sounds these guys create; the mindset seems to be that they’ve got the tunes, so why bother with all the gloss? In other words, the Killers are the mainstream group that everyone knows...but the Bravery is the band all the cool kids are talking about.

The chorus of “Tyrant” finds lead singer Sam Endicott sounding momentarily like Howard Jones (think “What Is Love?” and you’ll catch it), but by the next track, “Give In,” Endicott is all about channeling his inner Robert Smith. (Wait a minute. Smith? Jones...? Damn, there was a joke to be had there, and it went sailing right by before I could catch it.) If there’s a song that’ll be the Bravery’s chance at the brass ring, however, it’s “Public Service Announcement,” with its chorus cheerily informing the listener, “Stop, drop, and roll, you’re on fire!”

Endicott claims to have no less of a objective for his music than produce the kind of tunes that elevate culture, but it’s hard to comfortably suggest that the Bravery will succeed in such a lofty goal as that. At the very least, however, they’ve got an album’s worth of killer electro-pop; that’ll do nicely for now. 

~Will Harris 


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