Album Reviews

The Bravery – The Bravery

(Polydor) UK release date: 14 March 2005


A financial awakening dawns. If you had kept aside a pound for every time a new wave band was spawned from the latter end of 2003 you’d be a self-made millionaire.

The Bravery have enjoyed much of this incestuous worship in the past six months. Their extracurricular activities have certainly earned them a Motley Crue-like reputation, with the band allegedly able to rate the performance of female reps of every major UK record label in bed like Ofsted can schools.

Referring to the many comparisons made to US label mates The Killers, immodestly confident main man Sam Endicott has recently described his band as Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Killers as, wait for it, Danny DeVito.

A true statement to a certain extent. The genetics both bands share are similar, but not identical. They both temper bristling guitar rock, showered in synth and effects to craft exciting, irreparably addictive songs which fill dance floors beyond conventional health and safety standards.

But as Endicott implies, The Bravery come up trumps with a bigger, bolder, dirtier sound. Take the single An Honest Mistake, which has been peppering radio waves for the last month. Or the manner in which Unconditional literally firebombed indie stations last autumn.

Like The Killers’ Hot Fuss, this album is so embarrassingly awash with potential singles that Island (US) must be dancing on crystal tables like they’ve won the lottery twelve times over.

But let’s not get carried away here. Some may pick up on Endicott’s impressive vocal range – which it is – but he also comes across like a soul fraught in the middle of an identity crisis. Early in the album he is apparently stuck in Robert Smith (No Breaks, Tyrant). Through the main body he is, unsurprisingly, like his twin, Killers frontman Brandon Flowers. Every now and then he decides to go all Julian Casablancas (Honest Mistake, The Ring Song) which works well, but by the end of the record you’re wondering if this is that new Hot Hot Heat record.

A minimal gripe. It won’t be picked up by many, and let’s get one thing straight – this is a fantastic first album. But as a modern French genius once said, it lacks a certain ‘va-va-voom.’

“Vincent you’re my brother. I love you. We’re family”. It’s highly unlikely The Bravery will be uttering such words with a loving affection to The Killers. But they are of the same womb. Blame Duran Duran, The Cure and Joy Division for these two fine young bands we’ve got running round the yard. It’ll be interesting to see them eventually teeth.


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More on The Bravery
Interview: The Bravery
The Bravery – The Bravery
The Bravery @ Rescue Rooms, Nottingham