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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The Bravery
The Bravery
Island Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


April 12, 2005
On four hours of sleep - hair uncombed, crust in eyes, soda not yet effective - I dutifully trudge down the stairs to wrap my brain around some reviews. Sure I'm coherent (I'm one of a dying breed of morning people), I'm just attempting to keep physical movement to a minimum and get the preliminary thoughts out. I pour myself into a desk chair, and come flood or attention-starved dog, I'm not getting out of my seat.

Enter the Bravery, AKA the music I'd likely not want to hear in this state, and yet I do. I can't yet get the momentum to dance in my oversized pajamas, but I still know good New Wave revival when I hear it. The Bravery has all the locked-in, unmussed focus it takes to be successful, knowing their role and never wavering; and though influences remain apparent across the board, the band's attention to those forefathers only enhances their appeal.

What's more, it is not the kind of gawky admiration that sends them clamoring like mad fans for Robert Smith's autograph - it's not at all awkward in its hero worship - it's the kind of passion that envisions the band intently pouring over vinyl, bubbling with determination to study their craft. The Bravery has the thirst of perpetual students; they hone in on their sound and know it, inside and out, appreciating New Wave's capabilities and nuances. They are not so much copycats as they are skilled apprentices.

As such, there's little reason not to love them; they've clearly given their all to their craft. For those who thought the Killers were out to save the world single-handedly, you'll know now that any claims of "Last Great Hope" were immature - there's more intelligent, stylized, worthwhile synth-pop where that came from, and I, for one, would argue that the Bravery do it better than their labelmates if only for those refreshing scholastic tendencies.

Granted, when singles like "An Honest Mistake" and "Public Service Announcement" hit the airwaves, there shouldn't be too many listeners impressed by the band's amount of study - why analyze and appreciate when you could just dance? The band's unwavering effort, of course, produces the same simple result as all of their heroes and peers: a visceral, enjoyable experience, designed to make you move. They can be as brainy and capable as they want - and that makes the Bravery honorable - but when it comes down to it, they still have to grab you. Luckily in a world of tired formulas and predictable mimicking, the Bravery have everything it takes to break through. Time to get up!

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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