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The Bravery.
The Sun And The Moon
Island Records

The Bravery's sequel to their self-titled debut album from 2005, The Sun And The Moon, maintains the band's position as post new wave tycoons creating a fusion of modern rock and synth rock with electro-pop metallics that is quickly likeable and has universal appeal. For music fans from the '80s, the band's second album is reminiscent of the likes of Depeche Mode, Thomas Dolby, The Thompson Twins, and Howard Jones. For the younger generation, the band's new album is of the same ilk as Editors, Kaiser Chiefs, Shiny Toy Guns, The Rapture, and Stars Of Track And Field. Produced by Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, Stone Temple Pilots), The Sun And The Moon incorporates tinges of orchestral pop and alternative country which broadens the album's textures without making those elements seem out of place in the emporium of modern rock fusion.

The New York City based rock quintet of singer/guitarist/songwriter Sam Endicott, guitarist Michael Zakarin, bassist Michael Barreto Hindert, keyboardist John Conway, and drummer Anthony Burulcich, pride themselves on being "hopeful misanthrope" according to their website. Their latest outing walks that line between being hopefully optimistic and dismally cynical. The music is overall upbeat and delightfully energetic but the lyrics are fraught with pessimism and regrets; like in the first single from the album "Time Won't Let Me Go" when Endicott moans, "If I could go back once again, I'd do it so much better." There is a pleading in Endicott's voice which borders on a bedroom eyes dreamy delirium and a man holding his head in his hands sobbing and yearning for what has slipped through his fingers. Endicott's pathos isn't milksoppy but rather genuine so listeners feel like this could be them. The lyrics relate to what people go through and human vulnerabilities. The music gives listeners a sense that they can lift themselves out of the muck, which makes the songs really cool and shares factors with the '80s new wave movement.

Tracks like "Believe" and "This Is Not The End" fuse synth rock and electro-pop scripts prodigiously with lively dance rhythms and exhilarating let-it-rip guitar solos that smoke. The heavy guitar burns and fat drumbeats on "Every Word Is A Knife In My Ear" amass vibrant textures latched onto pouffy synths while the vocal echoes add to the fulminating effects. What makes The Bravery stand out are their rock guitars which add kicks and jabs in the synth rock fabrics. The jubilant indie pop tempo of "Bad Sun" is embellished by a limerick of twittering whistles that resemble the jolly melody of The Seven Dwarfs whistling off to work in the Disney animation of Snow White. And yet, The Bravery did this without making the song sound cheesy. The band also places sections of flowery violins in numbers like "Tragedy Bound" and "The Ocean" which spruce up the country-toned acoustic guitar melody. Tracks like "Angelina" and "Split Me Wide Open" have electro-pop luster with synth rock swags and meaty dance beats that are finely slashed by soaring guitars. The songs are put together so diligently that they never fail to infatuate.

The Bravery's latest release The Sun And The Moon keeps with the band's philosophy about writing songs - which is to encourage their generation to stand tall and not be afraid of what is up ahead. Endicott explains on the band's website, "Everyone in my age group wants to know what they're going to do with their lives. They all think that they're worth nothing and they're heading nowhere. People are drowning in these thoughts and I just got sick of it. I didn't want to be like that…People are constantly waiting for something bad to happen. I…formed this band to make sure I didn't get overcome by that sense of fear. That's what this band is about--standing tall and not being afraid." The Bravery's second album reinforces their philosophy to be brave from the record's upbeat momentum to its vulnerable lyrics.

-Susan Frances

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. Believe
3. This Is Not The End
4. Every Word Is A Knife In My Ear
5. Bad Sun
6. Time Won't Let Me Go
7. Tragedy Bound
8. Fistful Of Sand
9. Angelina
10. Split Me Wide Open
11. Above And Below
12. The Ocean

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