The Bravery: Live Last Night
By Mark Jenkins
Grandiose, energetic and yearning, the Bravery's music is eminently adolescent. So perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise, Sunday night at the 9:30 Club, when frontman Sam Endicott revealed that his favorite book is that young-adult classic, S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders.'' Endicott claimed the novel as the inspiration for "Time Won't Let Me Go,'' one of the Bravery's most effective numbers.
(Originality has never been the band's strong suit, after the jump.)
Effective, yet not especially original. When the New York quintet isn't borrowing from Hinton and other scribblers -- it also played a song titled "Brave New World'' -- the band lifts its punk-goes-disco style from such predecessors as David Bowie, the Cars, Joy Division and the Cure (plus a bit of "Switched-on Bach''). The resulting music has drawn withering reviews but also many fans, although the group didn't sell out the 9:30 Club this time.
That might be because the Bravery preceded its new album, "Stir the Blood,'' by about a month. From the opening "Unconditional'' to the closing "Fearless,'' the 65-minute set was heavy on old favorites. The group did play several songs from the upcoming release, including one with an unprintable title, and the album's first single, "Slow Poison.'' The latter's resemblance to a certain Bowie tune suggested that the members of the Bravery chose their name in hopes that they "can be heroes, just for one day.''
Endicott was reportedly under the weather, which may explain some roughness in his voice, as well as the relatively short show. (The band dropped three songs that were on its set list last week.) But little more than a hour was plenty of time for the Bravery to display both its strengths and its limitations. "Stir the Blood'' may turn out to be a huge advance, but Sunday's performance didn't make any big promises.
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