Music News

The Bravery

Retro trends, like most fads, follow a predictable pattern. The first purveyors of a nostalgia-friendly sound seem fresh in a comfortably familiar way, and the affection they earn brings other artists of their ilk to prominence. At a certain point, though, the number of bands using the formula exceeds the intrinsic appeal of the approach itself, leading to an inevitable and well-deserved backlash -- which is why the members of the Bravery find themselves in a precarious position. Tastemakers have predicted mega-stardom for singer/ guitarist Sam Endicott's New York-based combo, which is joined on this bill by Ash and Alaska!, and maybe it will hit such heights. Yet The Bravery, the outfit's debut full-length, is so incredibly indebted to the early-'80s style already being plied by acts ranging from Interpol to the Killers that the hype could easily curdle. Predicting which fate awaits the group is impossible at this point, but the level of mimicry inherent in "An Honest Mistake" and "Tyrant," neither of which can be even superficially described without making direct (and tiresome) references to performers from the past, doesn't bode well for long-term success. As a result, the time is now for the Bravery to cash in on then.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts