THE BRAVERY The Bravery (Island)
This New York quintet almost fracture the pop atom on their first attempt. The opening track of their debut album, An Honest Mistake, sounds like New Order and The Strokes simultaneously covering Blondies Atomic its that brilliant, or that hideous depending on your point of view. Me, I think its one of the most arresting openings to a first album since well, since records began.
That the remainder of The Bravery doesnt immediately crumple and shrivel in comparison is a testament to the talent deployed here. Cut from similar cloth the other ten tracks may be, but theyre much more variation than imitation. The Bravery are also adept at turning in a tantalisingly tricksy intro Fearless opens with the sound of Eno being mauled by fairground machinery, Tyrant is all rolling synth breakers and acid burbles, and Out Of Time struts like Blondies (again) Call Me gone electroclash(er).
Sam Endicotts vocals are pitched midway between Robert Smith and Julian Casablancas, the formers troubled mewling married to the latters propensity for sounding like hes singing down a hosepipe. Public Service Announcement takes on those pesky Franz boys at their own tawdry game, emerging victorious from this jerky punk-funk jousting tournament. Unconditional boasts another one of those play-me-forever intros and percussive fusillades of an intensity that recalls Joy Divisions Transmission. The Ring Song even offers tantalising glimpses of heavily veiled humour, its anti-matrimony lyric confessing blearily I must have had fun cos now Im broke.
Perhaps the sugary, fizzy fun evaporates before the album does, and Endicotts own production might be considered a little too occluded for comfort or maybe Ive just ruined my ears by repeatedly chasing this album onto the platter after Becks highest of fi newie. Nevertheless, if you feel youve been sold a pup by an overexcitable music press with Franz Ferdinand, invest in The Bravery with confidence.