Friday, March 23, 2007

Getting Brave at PopScene

When we somehow found our way behind a crowd of rather absurdly tall people, a much shorter little trendster, bent on full-body dancing, leaned around me and said, “I have to get up to the front. The bassist is so cute.”

Admittedly, considering songs like “Tyrant,” “cute” may not be the first word that leaps to mind when thinking about The Bravery.

But as the band took the stage rather ruggedly – the lead singer clad in a full-length orange sweater, shirt and tie, which left him dripping with sweat by the second song – there was an unconscious stylishness to the NY boys.

Blasting their characteristic synth-pop, despite shoddy microphones that screeched throughout the set, the five-piece weaved crowd-faves from their first album with more subdued/generically-introspective songs from their forthcoming release.

The Bravery succeed most when they exert their more eloquent guitar-driven pop – the songs that are driven by ferocious, if not verbally simplistic, choruses, much like Franz Ferdinand. (“Fearless” could easily be a Franz song.)

But perhaps the boys are less successful when they have to ask us to listen in on what they’re really feeling deep down. The new single “Time Won’t Let Me Go,” from their forthcoming “The Sun & The Moon” seems to gasp at the edge of existentialism, but the songwriting is not quite strong enough to sustain the idea. (Plus, the chorus sounds distinctly like a Third Eye Blind song that I can’t quite place, and quite frankly, it’s driving me crazy.)

When The Bravery really get going though, hammering out “An Honest Mistake,” “Unconditional,” and “No Brakes,” it’s easy to love them.

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