The Bravery
"Stir The Blood"

(Island Records 2010)The Bravery - Stir The Blood

When I think of the late ‘90s, images of *NSync, the Backstreet Boys, and 98 Degrees gently caress my thoughts while I try my best not to faint like the millions of adoring female fans of that time. Then I think about the early 2000s, and I am reminded of the pop-punk lyrics of Simple Plan, Good Charlotte and the like. And now, as the trend has come to evolve, we are engulfed by auto-tune and enough synths to make even the ‘80s jealous.

In this age of hyper-inflated electro-pop and über catchy hooks, The Bravery certainly does stand their ground. With their latest effort "Stir the Blood," they more than represent the synth department, but lack that enthralling element that bands like Passion Pit have seemed to find. Album openers "Adored" and "Song For Jacob" set the tone with a driving pace and heavy, fuzzed-out bass lines thumping their way alongside melodic, you guessed it...synthesizer riffs. For a more radio-friendly, ear-pleasing experience, try "Slow Poison," which is more of the same, only with an extra sticky vocal line. Other semi-memorable moments on "Stir the Blood" include numbers like the eerily literal "I Am Your Skin," and "I Have Seen the Future" - which bears a striking resemblance to the ‘90s Orgy cover of "Blue Monday." As the fist-pumping, electro assault that is "Stir the Blood" comes to a close, the mellow mediocrity of closing track "Sugar Pill" leaves a sort of wonder with the listener. And by wonder, I mean an onslaught of computer music which fails to do much more than douse the ears in monotony.

"The Sun and the Moon" can be a tough album to follow. While "Stir the Blood" does put up a noble fight, it seems to do so with a lack of that something... that "woooo!" factor. Whether it is due to the difficulty in deciphering between tracks, or the lack of a pop backbone that helps to hold up its peers, it seems but a skeleton of its genre. But alas, tomorrow is a new day, and hell...they could always bring in T-Pain for the next single!

C-

buy it!