The Bravery; “The Bravery”

In case your right arm has been trapped under a boulder for the last year, new wave is back. (If you ever mistaken a Futureheads’ track for an XTC b-side, you’ll know what I mean.)

When the Bravery’s single “An Honest Mistake” leaked at the beginning of this year, I was equally put off by the obvious pandering to people who missed it the first time and a soulless guitar outro only Neil Schon could love.

Thanks to a feud sparked by fellow (but infinitely more entertaining) new new-wavers The Killers, we now know that (in)appropriately-coifed-and haired-frontman Sam Endicott previously lead a band with the telling name Skabba The Hutt. If there’s anything that shouts “trend-jumper” louder than being in a ska band a few years back, it would have to be playing in a new wave band right now.

I tried to find something pleasant in this recording, but my efforts were always punished, not rewarded. Endicott, who also produced the album, seems alternately to be a victim of musical insensitivity or of tone-deafness. Chugging LFOs and string synths paired with his supremely ridiculous couplets make it hard to figure out exactly what record he stumbled upon in his parents’ collection. I believe there’s a right way to “do it again” musically, but this certainly isn’t it.

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