When the Bravery released its debut disc earlier this year, critics dismissed the band as a bunch of hacks who were cashing in on a hot sound. The group's detractors were so vitriolic that sympathetic souls spoke out on its behalf, creating Bravery-backlash backlash. To give the band due process, we considered the charges against these dapper defendants.
· Charge: The Bravery's singer, Sam Endicott, stands accused of shameless sandbagging.
· Evidence: A dreadlocked Endicott once did time in a group called Skabba the Hut, which coined the tagline "Bust a Nut with Skabba the Hut." Anyone who played in a horny, Star Wars-obsessed ska band forfeits the right to adopt a too-cool urbane persona.
· In his defense: Endicott mercifully sat out the nü-metal movement.
· Charge: The Bravery's lyrics make its music (disco hi-hats, squealing solo-studded rawk, frilly ambiance, and fey grooves) look masterful.
· Evidence: Endicott's "lyrics" range from idiotic to banal. The following lines are his worst: "You put the broke in broken hearted/You put the art in retarted" (sic).
· In its defense: During "An Honest Mistake," Endicott murmurs, "Sometimes I forget I'm still awake." He's citing the Prince precedent ("I was dreaming when I wrote this"), forgetting that this excuse remained valid only until the close of 1999.
· Verdict: We find the Bravery guilty on all counts. We hereby sentence this band to pucker up and kiss our ass.