When listening to any band it’s usually pretty easy to quickly call out influences and make the “sounds like” comparisons. With their third album, The Bravery explores the darker side of the synch-rock world taking cues maybe a little too directly from other bands. You are gonna hear some Cure, and Killers, throw in a little New Order and Depeche Mode, and they got the genre covered.
Lead singer, Sam Endicott sets the gloomy, angry tone of the album with lyrics reeking of frustration and bitterness. He also delivers them with a faux-sounding British tinge. He describes a post-Katrina New Orleans, and likely drew from the real life strife of his girlfriends reported suicide attempt.
That’s not to say that the album is nothing but a bleak mix. The Bravery aim to keep some tracks upbeat infused with a danceable, new wave groove contrasting against the decidedly dark lyrics. At times, it almost works. The track “I Am Your Skin” sounds like a pretty buoyant tune that is until you realize you are singing along to a creepy chorus, “I want to be your skin, I want to be your covering.”
If you like the genre, and you like the bands The Bravery “sounds like,” then this album will likely be a hit for you. However, from a critical standpoint, it kind of “sounds like” a cop out. If they pushed the envelope a further or took some risks, or did something original, then this could have been a really exciting album. They have the talent which they proven on past releases. Instead, “Stir the Blood” doesn’t stir up much of anything except comparisons.
Words: Lori Bartlett