MTV and Rolling Stone both call the group "an artist to watch." It's at the "Top of the BBC's 'Sound of 2005' poll." It's the next Strokes, or at the very least, the next Killers. The members of the hyped-up N.Y.C. act the Bravery practically have "Next Big Thing" stamped on their foreheads -- they're even up for an election in that category right now in Fuse.
But do they deserve it? Well, the guitarist seems to be somehow hung up on both the Edge circa Unforgettable Fire and a motley crew of hair-metal shredders; singer Sam Endicott lifted his anguished, world-weary faux-English drawl lock, stock, and smoking eye shadow from Robert Smith; the drummer rides his high hats nonstop, as if he's in New Order; and the whole thing rests on 2K4's de rigueur bed of warm synths and droning bass. It's all very danceable, of course, and it is pleasant. But here's the thing: All their songs sound alike, and they all sound like last year, not this year. It's bands like this that will smother retro-'80s rock in its cradle. Oh, and poseur alert! Did you know that just two years ago, Endicott -- who is now decked out in leather and a Morrissey-style pompadour -- was the dreads-sporting leader of a ska band called Skabba the Hutt?