Escaping the gimmicky pit falls of their contemporaries
U.S. Cellular Stage (Summerfest) Milwaukee, WI
July 6, 2008
Story by Andrea Jenels Photos by Joe Hargreaves
Closing out the US Cellular Stage on the eleventh and final night of Summerfest, Milwaukee's annual lakefront music cavalcade, The Bravery brought their New York based blend of electronic indie-rock to the festival's final patrons. Beginning the set with the amped up "Fearless," the group set the tone for the evening with sonorous art-damaged nostalgia. With his uncanny Robert Smith vocal style, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Sam Endicott, won the crowd with his post-punk stylings on "This is Not the End," "Ocean," and "Believe." Perhaps the shows apex was when Endicott dedicated the catchy anthem "Time Won't Let Me Go" to the troublemaking characters from the cult film "The Lost Boys." Eventually transitioning into the heavier side of their material with "Every Word is a Knife in My Ear," The Bravery changed up the feel with the hard hitting lyrics before treating the crowd to the first single from their 2005 release (and crowd favorite) with "Honest Mistake."
Unlike many of the groups who qualify as "neo-new wave," the Bravery manages to escape the gimmicky pit falls of their contemporaries. Electro-histrionics never overpower what are essentially well written pop-ditties. The wash of keyboards or the thudding of synthetic drums is merely backlighting to the relationship between the chords and the melody. Regardless if you are into this genre or not, you can't deny these are catchy songs. Although the dance-punk takeover of the recent past has finally become annoyingly passe, these tunes are still memorable.