A Double Dose of Bravery

Everyone makes capricious decisions when they’re young. For some, those choices will remain buried like a time capsule only to emerge years later when they run for political office or, in the case of The Bravery, land a major label deal and start touring the world. What led to its public snubbing was worse than any long forgotten romantic affair -- it was more taboo, more destructive to a reputation, it was a scarlet S on the chests of all involved: two of its members used to play in ska bands. The horror.

The Killers taunted the group publicly about its roots (the band’s name, by the way, was Scabba the Hutt -- amazing), an action with an unforeseen result: it made The Bravery all the more human and endearing. Everyone has a secret stash of late '90s emo music, or a mixtape left over from high school with a ribbon worn thin to the point of snapping, packed full of third-wave punk bands. But in the same way that you’ve developed your musical pallet, The Bravery absorbed bits and pieces from groups it admired, then used those snippets as inspiration to scrapbook together its own sound. For the most recent album The Sun and the Moon, “we were listening to… older Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys, especially Pet Sounds,” explains drummer Anthony Burulcich. The boys of Brave were inspired to use more harmonies and vocal layering and less synthesized bionic back-ups, an evolution that will likely save the group from pigeonholing themselves as a synth-pop dance band. And the DIY aesthetic on its first album, The Bravery, where many of the tracks kept remnants of lo-fi demos recorded at home? Sun retains that, says Burulcich. “We were on a tour bus in the middle of the Ukraine in snow storms, so we had a lot of time to work on it,” he recalls. “A lot of the original tracks were recorded on our laptops in the back of that bus.”

It’s that self-driven element that makes the group so interesting, setting it apart from other “New York Sound” acts of the early 2000s. It’s also what has helped them build such a solid fanbase both in America and the UK. Before the labels began wooing The Bravery, the band won over fans online (“we must have been one of the first bands on MySpace,” says Burulcich), and in residencies in Brooklyn and London nightclubs. “I think the record companies started wondering who we were and how we had gotten so much airtime [on our own],” says Burulcich. Ever since the boys signed with Island Def Jam, they’ve been touring with everyone from Depeche Mode to their current escapades with Incubus and Smashing Pumpkins. Don’t miss your chance to check them out when they play with Incubus tonight at Sound Advice (601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach, 561-795-8883). Tickets cost 32.50 to $39.50, at www.ticketmaster.com. Go early, this show is pegged to start at 7 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 29, 7 p.m.

 
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