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ISSUE 119 VOL 2 PUBLISHED 9/23/2005

The Bravery, not just and honest mistake

By Nicole Zepper
Executive Editor

Friday, September 23, 2005

St. Olaf students can expect to hear a lot of funky sounds at the upcoming fall concert on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Skoglund Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now and anticipation for the concert is steadily building, and for good reason. The Bravery demand attention. But The Bravery are also a hard band to pin down.

The band melds new wave, dance rock, post-punk and synth-pop together to create an inspired, original sound. They have been compared to everything from New Order and The Cure to Duran Duran, with a bit of Bono mixed in for added vocal flavor.

The band most frequently compared with The Bravery is The Killers. In fact, the similarity of these two bands has been the source of an on-going feud between them. The lead singer for The Killers told MTV that bands like The Bravery are merely riding The Killers’ coattails toward success. The Bravery, however, declared that they finished recording their debut album long before they had ever heard of The Killers.

The feud may just be a publicity stunt, since both bands are signed to the same record label. One thing remains certain however: The Killers are stylistically the best musical comparison to The Bravery, whose sound is best described as rock music you can dance to.

The Bravery is a relatively new band, having released their self-titled debut album last March. Still, the band has already compiled an impressive track record, with appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,”as well as music videos on MTV and an upcoming appearance on MTV's “Hard Rock Live” this fall.

Their hit single “An Honest Mistake,” was featured last spring on the season finale of the hit TV drama “The O.C.”

Aside from their TV appearances, The Bravery enjoyed great success on the road, particularly in the United Kingdom, where they have already played two sold-out tours. The band has also toured the United States, including an appearance at the 2005 Coachella festival in California, which featured Coldplay, Weezer, Bright Eyes and Snowpatrol.

Their current tour, which includes Northfield as its only Minnesota stop, is The Bravery’s first headlining tour in the United States. After this tour, the band will head back to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain for yet another European tour.

The Bravery haven’t always been globe-trotting. late-night-talk-show-appearing band, however. They got their start in 2003 when lead singer Sam Endicott and keyboardist John Conway, fellow Vassar alums, started playing together in their apartments, mixing their first songs on an iMac. They later recruited drummer Anthony Burulcich, guitarist Michael Zakarin and bass guitarist Mike Hindert, despite the fact that he had never played bass guitar before.

The band played its first show Nov. 25, 2003. By May 2004, The Bravery were enjoying a month-long residency at a New York club, playing for sold-out crowds and entertaining offers from major record labels. They signed with Island Records in Fall 2004. Since then, they’ve received excellent reviews in both Spin and Rolling Stone magazines.

The singles from their album include “An Honest Mistake,” an ambiguous song about a possibly gay man who hit on his best friend, and “Fearless,” which was inspired by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the atmosphere the musicians saw in the city around them. Almost all of the other tracks on The Bravery’s album could qualify as potential singles as well.

The Bravery promise to put on a high-energy show for the fall concert. They have a unique sound and a lot of driving energy and movement. So, unless you have absolutely no tolerance for synth-style rock or a strong aversion to nodding your head with the beat, this year’s fall concert is an event worth checking out. And if all goes as The Bravery hope it will, a few months from now, you just might find yourself bragging about this concert to all your friends back home.

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