Album: The Bravery

The Bravery, LOOG
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The Independent Culture

In today's exciting new wave of indie-pop, all bets are off. A band can be as stylish as Franz Ferdinand, as charming as Kaiser Chiefs or as populist as The Others and surf the same wave to widespread acclaim; all it takes is the hint of a hit, and crossover success is yours. "An Honest Mistake" is the hit that seems likely to carry the American interlopers The Bravery up among the Kaisers and Kasabians, a radio-friendly singalong anthem with a hook solid enough to land a swordfish. But anyone investing in their debut album on the strength of that track may find themselves somewhat underwhelmed. The Bravery bears the scars of New York's half-cocked "electroclash" scene of a few years back, the tarted-up reclamation of old Eighties electropop modes that failed to raise much of a ripple elsewhere. The Bravery may have dressed down a bit, but there's no hiding the way their rigidly cycling synths and wheedling rock guitars summon up the ghosts of such as Simple Minds and Duran Duran, with the mawk

In today's exciting new wave of indie-pop, all bets are off. A band can be as stylish as Franz Ferdinand, as charming as Kaiser Chiefs or as populist as The Others and surf the same wave to widespread acclaim; all it takes is the hint of a hit, and crossover success is yours. "An Honest Mistake" is the hit that seems likely to carry the American interlopers The Bravery up among the Kaisers and Kasabians, a radio-friendly singalong anthem with a hook solid enough to land a swordfish. But anyone investing in their debut album on the strength of that track may find themselves somewhat underwhelmed. The Bravery bears the scars of New York's half-cocked "electroclash" scene of a few years back, the tarted-up reclamation of old Eighties electropop modes that failed to raise much of a ripple elsewhere. The Bravery may have dressed down a bit, but there's no hiding the way their rigidly cycling synths and wheedling rock guitars summon up the ghosts of such as Simple Minds and Duran Duran, with the mawkish presence of Robert Smith and Morrissey lurking in Sam Endicott's self-conscious vocal manner. But the intervening two decades have wrought their damage, and The Bravery lacks the fresh quality of its influences, sounding both cynical and dated - an unhealthy combination at the best of times, and this is certainly none of those.

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