The Bravery – The Bravery ★★★

2005The BraveryThe Bravery★★★57RockAlternative RockPost Punk Revival

The Bravery’s self-titled debut is a boilerplate Post Punk Revival record from a band trying to break into what was the genre’s growing scene in 2005. It’s a well produced album, and the band puts everything it has into it — whaling, quick strummed guitars over fast, dancy drums, with energetic, somewhat whiny vocals and some grand, catchy choruses — making it easy to get into and enjoy.

The album starts with “Honest Mistake,” a fun, danceable breakthrough single with synths that draw a little from New Order’s “Blue Monday” and that cashes in on The Killers’ giant success one year prior on Hot Fuss. This track is not as catchy as the best of The Killers, but is clearly the standout on this record and holds its own.

That last line is kind of how most of this record feels. It’s pretty good song after pretty good song of dance punk beats with some tasteful synths and electronics thrown in here and there. It isn’t as poppy at The Killers, but it isn’t as good either. “No Brakes,” “Fearless,” “Unconditional” are all single-quality indie rock tracks with solid guitar work and energy, but I don’t think there’s anything that The Bravery does that really makes them stand out among the pack of other artists from the mid 2000s.

The garage-rock aesthetic isn’t good enough to stand up against the Arctic Monkeys or The Strokes, although “The Ring Song” feels like a Room On Fire B-side. It’s not alternative dance enough to fit in with The Rapture or LCD Soundsystem. And there isn’t anything as distinct as Franz Ferdinand’s vocals, or Bloc Party’s more layered, angular guitar work. 

The Bravery clearly fit in, but it’s always a problem when you listen through an album and are constantly thinking of the other bands that it reminds you of instead of enjoying it as something new. Overall, it is solid, and there are songs to enjoy. It just isn’t anything special.

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