One of the hotly-tipped acts for 2005, New York quintet The Bravery are the freshest answer to the question “What next after the Strokes and Franz Ferdinand?”. Influenced by a variety of bands, ranging from Fugazi, Jawbox, New Order, The Cure and NY’s own electro-clash scene, these hip new Yorkers are rapidly stealing the position on the international music scene occupied until present time by The Killers.
Led by John Conway’s infectious synth keyboards, by which he professes to be obsessed, and driven by Sam Endicott’s charismatic persona, the songs contained in this perfect pop EP were – unbelievably – recorded in Sam’s apartment and still manage to sound like the next big thing. They start with the title track Unconditional, an ode to love and solitude, including lines such as “I spent my whole life surrounded, I spent my whole life alone” and repeating a million times “I just want love”; No Brakes is another desperate love song, driven by a Cure-alike bassline, while single An Honest Mistake is a sheer gem, and makes us even forget this is ultimately a guitar band, with its 80s synth-pop verses. If you forget their eyeliners and gravity-defying haircuts, The Bravery’s worth will set them apart from the scene it’s so easy to think they fit into, and we’ll hear about them for a long time.