12 December 2009

The Bravery: "Stir the Blood"

I remember when I first saw heard “Honest Mistake” by the Bravery around 2004; I loved the song, I searched for the video, and ever since then, I have been a big time fan. I remember listening to their self-titled debut for the first time: it taught me something about good music. It had that urgency that some bands at the time had lacked. Urgency became an important thing to me in music from that moment on. That is why I was disappointed with their sophomore album; it was less than lackluster in the department of urgency. Then there was word of the third album, “Stir the Blood” (1 December 2009), and all I could do was hope for a great album. And that is why I am going to start this with an apology: I should have gotten to this review sooner.

“Stir the Blood” has all of the urgency that their debut has, but the band’s maturity and evolution brings much more to the table this time around. Not only have they found their sense of urgency again, but also they learned how to steer away from what I consider some of the weaker aspects of their sophomore effort. I find myself sitting in my seat just bobbing my head back and forth going “YEAH! THIS IS THE BRAVERY I KNOW!” And although there are many bands caught up in this post-punk revival at the moment, there are a few things about the Bravery that really standout, two in particular. The first is that they are American, New Yorkers, not caught up in the London music scene, and have that air of “I-do-things-my-way-‘cause-I’m-from-New-York” to their music. Secondly, they have a very distinct sound to them; sometimes it feels like they truly hail from the 80s and not part of a revival.

“Slow Poison” is their lead single off the album and is quite catchy, but lyrically powerful: “I'm so sick and tired… I can still remember your sound… its’ cut, cut, cutting me down…. Down, I'm locked and loaded”. This is a universal story about not being with a person any longer, but you continue to think and think about that person until it consumes you, slowly killing you on the inside. “Hatefuck” is another catchy song of theirs. It is one of those songs in which the Bravery infuses more of a new wave dance style to; you can imagine the song blaring live – do you dance, do you slam?

If post-punk revival is your shtick, you may want to check out this album. No, you definitely want to check out this album.

Track Listing:
1. Adored
2. Song for Jacob
3. Slow Poison
4. Hatefuck
5. I Am Your Skin
6. She’s So Bendable
7. The Spectator
8. I Have Seen the Future
9. Red Hands and White Knuckles
10. Jack-O-Lantern Man
11. Sugar Pill

12. An Honest Mistake, Stir the Blood Remix – Bonus Track

12. Slow Poison, Villains Remix – Best Buy Bonus Track
13. Slow Poison, Drop the Lime Remix – Best Buy Bonus Track
14. Slow Poison, Of Montreal Remix – Best Buy Bonus Track

Keep tabs on The Bravery at their homepage, MySpace, and Facebook.

Here is their video for “Slow Poison” from their MySpace Video Page.

Slow Poison

The Bravery | MySpace Music Videos

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