Here We Go Again
The Killers already knew that the whole post-punk/New Wave revival shtick wouldn’t last long, which best explains their drastic switch of styles from Hot Fuss to Sam’s Town. It’s too bad The Bravery never got the memo. In what seems like nothing more than regurgitated funk, the New York City quintet’s third album Stir The Blood takes listeners back to times when The Rapture was cool, even relevant; a pre-indie era when brainless dance rhythms trumped smart rock, layered vocal harmonies, and songs about oxford commas.
Stir The Blood sees The Bravery frozen in time, dearly grasping to their triumphs of fist-pumping frat rock and sprinkling shades of reality, angst, drama, depression, and adulthood over adolescent tracks. Indeed, the album sees The Bravery in a new setting dominated by front man Sam Endicott’s inner demons. There’s a strong sense of anger and vulnerability heard in Endicott’s voice and lyrics never expressed before, a result of a failed suicide attempt from his long-time girlfriend while writing this album.
His violent wake-up call served as bittersweet muse for this project, as heard on intimate songs like “Hatefuck” and “I Am Your Skin.” But it’s Endicott’s recent breakthrough as a megapop producer, à la Shakira’s “She Wolf,” and kitschy tracks like “Slow Poison” and “I Have Seen the Future” that will keep Endicott, the true spirit of The Bravery, from reaching any potential hidden within and will continue to lump the band with the genre that could only go so far.