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Album review: The Bravery's 'Stir the Blood'

Thebravery_240 "You can twist and scream into the air, no one can hear you here," warns the Bravery's singer Sam Endicott on an unprintably titled track about emotionless sex from the band's third album. The chorus hook approximates the feeling one takes from an hour mucking about in "Stir the Blood's" lustless, cynical dance-punk: "There will be no tenderness."

The Bravery joined the mid-aughts New Order pile-on with one truly witty single, "An Honest Mistake"; since then, they've sidled up to mainstream rock radio, as on the KROQ staple "Believe." On "Blood," the group pairs dated revivalist synths (on the unintentionally ironic "I Have Seen the Future") with frat-friendly lechery and an omnipresent gnarled vocal effect that makes Strokes' frontman and newly minted solo artist Julian Casablancas sound like Susan Boyle by comparison.

Except for the endearingly tossed-off, Velvet Underground-inspired closer "Sugar Pill," "Blood" would be passable dance-floor fodder were it not so lyrically creepy. On past albums, the Bravery tried funny, then tried earnestness -- now, it seems, they're at the angry point in their seduction routine where you start to reach for your pepper spray.

Endicott had a hand in penning the excellent title track from Shakira's new album "She Wolf." Perhaps he can preserve some of that creative spark for his own band's next endeavor.

-- August Brown

The Bravery
"Stir the Blood"
One and a half stars (Out of four)
Comments () | Archives (8)

ha ha, this is funny - like he's taken it all personally...while obviously not ever being on the band's wavelength!

case in point:
the 'unprintably titled song about emotionless sex' is a song about being (to this listener...) trapped in a seriously heavy affair by someone who has little feeling, where you have, and therefore it's a killer, you're knotted in to the painful scenario and get to acting out the role required of you by the other person...so it's the opposite of what the reviewer says. People, you get a sense of how the reviewer is misreading things and why his review is spiked as a result...!

good luck bravery!

You can't comment because 'the author' has to approve people's comments...nothing about any disagreements with his review will get through.

And he has the choice to veto this post too, though if he is truly brave (and believes like a true journalist in genuine expression of opinions in the 'comments' section) he will let this post through. Allow it and show you're brave enough.

I Love the Record, great songs, and the sound is just so cool and really Rocks!
there is clear concept and a real rock sound that is hard to find in bands in these days!

For me is one of the best Records in the last year!

How no idea how somebody wpould prefer a Shakira Record even if the Bravery Singer co-wrote a song.

My apologies to all my fans - I've become rubbish since joining this new band.

Someone call Siouxsie, I need help!

"with frat-friendly lechery" + "Blood would be passable dance-floor fodder were it not so lyrically creepy." = you're an imbecile .

"Julian Casablancas sound like Susan Boyle" + "excellent title track from Shakira's new album "She Wolf." = you're an imbecile.

one truly witty single, "An Honest Mistake"+ "since then, they've sidled up to mainstream rock radio" = "unintentionally ironic"

" He was once almost cast opposite Burt Reynolds in an early '90s buddy-cop comedy, and really wishes that had panned out." + "August Brown has covered pop music"= is the L.A. Times aware that you are in fact an imbecile?


Congratulations on basing all of your opinion of the Bravery's new album and all their past albums on your listening to them once or twice and making a rash generalization about each song. If you took the time to do your job properly maybe you would have noticed that The Bravery are, in fact, not attempting to make some sort of "5 stages of relationship decay" compilation and base all their music on personal experience. But then again, you cannot expect quality journalism to come out of the LA Times, especially out of their music blogs which consider anything outside of Pop to be god-awful and forced. Another pathetic generalization of music coming from another LA lemming.

Well, the Bravery is terrible. I listened to each of their albums a few times and it is painful. I thought they had some potential after their debut album, but I agree with the writer that time has passed them. This album sucked although it's not quite as terrible as the complete disaster that is "The Sun and the Moon" album. "Adored" was ok, and I liked "Slow Poison" but just about every other track is either awful or close to it.

hola all...
very much NOT on board w/the reviewer OR the last poster (above me?)...while the lean towards the 80's (and unintentionally, i 'm sure, on robert smith/the cure) is a BIT extreme...i found myself thinking during "jack o'lantern" and ESPECIALLY "hatef**k,"THIS is what the cure SHOULD have been doing all those years!!" i think that song is bloody BRILLIANT. the energy...the main catchy little riff that could EASILY catch on as a MUCH heavier song if they chose to record it that way...

these guys need to capitalize on the low-end magic they sometimes capture...their songs don't always work, but if you're REALLY good with low-end sound delivery you can ALWAYS find some good songs.


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