120 Days release new EP Sedated Times on Vice Records

Norwegian electronic rock band 120 Days just released a digital EP June 26th on Vice Records. Featuring songs previously released only in Norway, studio versions of live staples, and an exclusive reinterpretation of “Come Out Come Down Fade Out Be Gone” by Secret Machines, SEDATED TIMES is a a 7 song power house of what the band has been, what they are now, and a glimpse into where the they will take us next year.

120 Days – SEDATED TIMES
1. Float
2. Let Me Come Down
3. So This Is Suicide
4. Sleepless Nights #II
5. Justine
6. Sedated Times
7. BONUS: Come Out Come Down Fade Out Be Gone (Reconstructed by Secret Machines)

The band will release a new 12″ in the fall, their first collaboration with Norwegian space-disco producer Lindstrøm, and begins work on their second full-length in the winter for an 2008 release.

UPCOMING FESTIVAL DATES

June 21 Sunndal, Sunndal Kulturfestival (NORWAY)
June 28 Hove, Hove festivalen (NORWAY)
June 29 Stjørdal, Hell Music Fest (NORWAY)
July 7 Roskilde, Roskilde Festival (DENMARK)
July 12 Arvika, Arvika festivalen (SWEDEN)
July 13 Florø, Fotballflora (NORWAY)
July 14 Wales, Swansea, Flam Festival (UK)
July 15l Indian Summer festival, Glasgow (SCOTLAND)
July 19l Molde, Moldejazz (NORWAY)
July 21l Tønsberg, Slottsfjell-festival (NORWAY)

July 26 Emmaboda, Emmaboda-festivalen (SWEDEN)
Aug 03 Ã…ndalsnes, Raumarock (NORWAY)
Aug 11 Osaka, Summersonic Festival (JAPAN)
Aug 12 Tokyo, Summersonic Festival (JAPAN)
Aug 17 Steinkjær, Steinkjær-festivalen (NORWAY)
Aug 24 Bodø, Parkenfestivalen (NORWAY)
Sep 8 Stavanger, Numusic Festival (NORWAY)

Their self-titled debut album from Vice Records is one of the most amazing of the year, taking elements of a very modern mood, mixing them with an almost classic-rock feel and taking off to someplace elegantly galactic, like on the single “Come Out (Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone),” which makes you want to smash illusions, take off, hook up. – URB

Wonder what Radiohead would have sounded like if they had discovered big, room-filling synthesizers during their U2-worshipping phase? The answer is 120 Days, a Norwegian quartet that creates giant, sweeping, rock epics powered by a thick distillation of guitars, bass, and rumbling analog synths. Rather than evoke new wave, these young rockers sound like late-’70s techno-punks mingling with mid-’70s prog-rockers over a 21st century Pro Tools rig, banging out cell phone-waving anthems for hipsters and nerds alike. – XLR8R

120 Days is an interstellar storm of dance beats, synth riffs, guitar drones and Bono-in-Berlin vocals. – ROLLING STONE

It’s a post-punk, post-rave, post-pre-Armageddon masterpiece of sleazy, chaos-worshipping industrial rock, not all unlike Primal’s brilliant XTRMNTR. Good thing they’re on our side, then. – FILTER

Black Moth Super Rainbow to tour with Flaming Lips in September, Aesop Rock in October

“A lot of neo-psych bands get the trippiness right, but can’t find that magical mix of tunefulness and sonic invention that makes listeners want to take their trip more than once. On Black Moth Super Rainbow‘s third album, Dandelion Gum, the mysterious Pennsylvania combo builds songs out of scratched fragments of roller-disco, sunshine-pop, and what sounds like intercepted interstellar broadcasts. Songs like “Jump Into My Mouth And Breathe The Stardust” are dense and fuzzy, with layers of vocoder, shrill synthesizers, and twangy guitar, but they also maintain a basic structural integrity. Even though Dandelion Gum opens with “Forever Heavy,” one of the best mind-bending album-starters since My Bloody Valentine’s “Only Shallow,” Black Moth Super Rainbow is effective because it isn’t afraid to let songs float off like brightly colored balloons.” — Noel Murray, The Onion

The rural Pennsylvania psych-damaged bubble-gum-pop enigma known as Black Moth Super Rainbow continues to tantalize and melt minds with its stellar third album Dandelion Gum and mesmerizing live shows. And, this September, The Flaming Lips has invited the swoozy quintet to support its U.S. tour. Furthermore, the band will soon announce west coast dates with Aesop Rock for October. What next… a tour with the Rolling Stones? Please see current dates below.

To add extra lysergic to the trip, a bizarre and somewhat eerie home video depicting the band members in their natural environment, traipsing through the woods at night has been posted on the RollingStone.com web site (LINK). The influential magazine’s “Artist to Watch” feature on the group describes its sound as “Air + Grateful Dead + CIA = Black Moth Super Rainbow.” The accompanying video clip shares more in common with the spookiness of the Blair Witch Project than a simple psychedelic rock band’s home video.

Whatever it is that drives the rural group’s aesthetic, it appears to have caught the fancy of many influential writers. David Fricke of Rolling Stone previously cited the band as one of four standout acts that performed at this year’s South By Southwest Festival last March. “Musically,” Fricke writes, “this bucolic-futurist quintet was a firmly directed trip: pillowy synth chords and day-glo songcraft nailed to Earth by insistent back-beats.”

Likewise, Jon Pareles of the New York Times raved over Black Moth Super Rainbow‘s live show, writing, “its songs are pulsating neo-psychedelia, driving and dizzying, with vamps that keep on building as the keyboard sounds go whizzing, bubbling, zapping and swooping above the beat. Vocals are run through a vocoder for a vintage robotic tone, repeating lines like ‘I love to be with you,’ and ‘this time we’ll rise’ or ‘We miss you in the summertime.’ Above the band, a screen showed eye-popping video animations: wildly proliferating plants, cartoon people and food in metamorphosis. The band’s albums revolve around stories and concepts–its current one, Dandelion Gum, is a tale of witches in a forest–but onstage, its music was one glorious buzz.“

Similarly, many of the nation’s finest music magazines have affirmed their affinity for the Pittsburgh group, including praise in Spin, Blender, Vice, Pitchfork and many more.

More about Black Moth Super Rainbow:
Black Moth Super Rainbow comes from the woods of Western Pennsylvania. An actual, five-person band not comprised of the expected laptops and sequencers, Black Moth Super Rainbow is a psyche-pop group in early ’70s electronic clothing. Some songs feel like local folklore of witches in the forest filtered through a brightly saturated Japanese candy store. Some are like pagan rituals in a sugarcoated fairyland. Others are like sad thoughts on the happiest days…. all played and lovingly assembled by real people with real hands. Black Moth Super Rainbow lives and makes music in its own lollipop neon folktale world.

Dandelion Gum is a concept record loosely-based on witches who make candy in the forest. Each of its 16 songs represents a different candy-induced freakout in the gooiest and sweetest ways possible. Songs that are built to stick in listeners’ heads for hours meet textures that are impossible to scrape off your teeth. You might not even realize that the sunny melody you’re humming to yourself all day has so many hidden layers behind it — all hummable as well. It’s as accessible of a record as it is abstract, and as bright on the surface as it is moody underneath. Dandelion Gum feels as colorful and sticky as its name suggests.

Recorded over the course of three years, the album is a product of the woods. It is deeply inspired by stories passed down from relatives and ones the band created themselves after long nights in the cabin. The best of those stories, and one that we hope could be true, is of the sisters who refused to leave their shack deep within the forest. The sisters (or witches as they are lovingly referred to in local folklore) were truly scary and it is said they would concoct all kinds of sugary treats for anyone foolish or adventurous enough to wander that deep. Most likely, this is an allegory for drugs and you can come up with whatever seemingly appropriate type of operation those women were running. But the stories of the individuals who made it back home are some of the most twisted stories around. Some are really bright, some are really sad, and some are designed to make you think about life and rainbows and death. Black Moth Super Rainbow wants you to feel that when listening to this record. And then they want you to remember it all day, and try it again tomorrow.

Black Moth Super Rainbow‘s first sad/happy/nostalgia-for-something-that-never-existed record, Falling Through A Field (2003) was three years of four-track and sampler recordings that shows how the band came from an almost folk beginning. Printed initially in a limited quantity of 500, the disc has been out of print since its initial release. A reissue on Graveface is in the works.

The band’s sophomore record, Start A People (2004) was about recreating the sounds of childhood public broadcast television and applying them to the Black Moth Super Rainbow formula. It’s a blissful, hazy, fuzzy record that can make you feel good whether you were a kid in 1982 or not. The concept of Start A People is the face Black Moth Super Rainbow is best known for and a thread that runs through everything they do.

Putting together the live show, the group started developing around this time as the extremely psychedelic pop band it is today. Echoplex freakouts and gong smashes with drums spinning all over the place are part of the repertoire now. Noise plays with melody, and old synths that aren’t used by anyone anymore might help you remember why it can be fun to wiggle or jump or cry.

Black Moth Super Rainbow lives on Graveface Records, and although known as somewhat of an enigma, has come out of the forest in 2006 to play at the request of bands like Of Montreal and The Black Angels. They have released a wild full-length collaborative record with The Octopus Project and are working with such diverse artists as Dreamend, Laura Burhenn (Georgie James), and Anticon’s Passage on their future projects.

“It’s hard to imagine that any other artists are treading ground anywhere near this. Hell, it really doesn’t matter anyways – because if anyone was, it sure as hell couldn’t be as good as this.” – Delusions of Adequacy

Black Moth Super Rainbow Live:

w/ The Flaming Lips

07/06 New York, NY Seaport Festival
08/11 Santa Fe, NM Santa Fe Muzik Fest
08/17 Philadelphia, PA Khyber
08/18 Brooklyn, NY Aladdin’s Garden Party
09/07 Chciago, IL Aragon Theater*
09/09 Minneapolis, MN The Myth*
09/12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater*
09/18 Vancouver, BC Orpheum Theater*
09/19 Portland, OR Roseland Theater*
09/20 Seattle, WA Paramount Theater*

Dandelion Gum Tracklisting:

01. Forever Heavy
02. Jump Into My Mouth And Breathe The Stardust
03. Melt Me
04. Lollipopsichord
05. They Live In The Meadow
06. Sun Lips
07. Rollerdisco
08. Neon Syrup For The Cemetery Sisters
09. The Afternoon Turns Pink
10. When The Sun Grows On Your Tongue
11. Spinning Cotton Candy In A Shack Made Of Shingles
12. Drippy Eye
13. Lost, Picking Flowers In The Woods
14. Caterpillar House
15. Wall Of Gum
16. Untitled Roadside Demo

Bonde Do Role to tour North America

BONDE DO ROLE TO TOUR NORTH AMERICA IN SUPPORT OF THEIR DEBUT LP, WITH LASERS, OUT NOW ON DOMINO RECORDS

Bonde Do Role, the riotous funk carioca trio from Curitiba, Brazil are taking their incendiary live show on the road for an extensive tour of North America this fall. The group, comprised of MC’s Marina Vello, Pedro D’Eyrot, and DJ/producer Rodrigo Gorky, are quickly becoming synonymous with the rising baile funk movement garnering attention from outside of Brazil. Most recently opening for CSS and Diplo, these headlining dates will surely incite any audience into a frenzy.

More info on Bonde Do Role:
Since forming two years ago and signing to Diplo’s Mad Decent label in 2006 – with the ‘Melo Do Tabaco EP’ prompting some big waves and little earthquakes among Very Cool People – they’ve teamed up with Domino for ‘Å With Lasers’, a debut album which bangs through 13 songs in half an hour. It is not exactly an album which beats around the bush. Nor do the band’s members pull their punches. “Bonde Do Role is the ultimate, stupid party,” Marina announces, defiantly. “It’s not music which is there to make you want to break something.”

Press on With Lasers:
“Bonde Do Role is taking the world by storm with their filthy Paulista funk. In the process, they might just re-draw the map of Brazil.” – THE FADER

“Their “Gasolina” (not the Daddy Yankee song), with deadpan women’s voices turning “Afrika Bambaataa” into a percussive hook, ought to have dance floors everywhere chanting, “Boom-cha-cha, chicky chicky cha.” – NEW YORK TIMES

“A mutant strain of baile funk – a whiplash-inducing mix of Miami bass, samba drums, Alice in Chains riffs, and lascivious rapping that originally hails from the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio de Janeiro.” – SPIN

Tour dates:
9/11/07 WASHINGTON, DC BLACK CAT
9/12/07 BALTIMORE, MD SONAR
9/13/07 PHILADELPHIA, PA JOHNNY BRENDA’S
9/14/07 NEW YORK, NY THE POWERHOUSE @ American Museum of Natural History
9/15/07 BROOKLYN, NY TBA
9/17/07 ALLSTON, MA HARPERS FERRY
9/18/07 MONTREAL, PQ LA SALA ROSSA
9/19/07 TORONTO, ON CABARET
9/20/07 DETROIT, MI MAGIC STICK
9/21/07 CHICAGO, IL EMPTY BOTTLE
9/22/07 MINNEAPOLIS, MN TRIPLE ROCK CLUB
9/25/07 VANCOUVER, BC RICHARDS ON RICHARDS
9/26/07 SEATTLE, WA NEUMOS
9/27/07 PORTLAND, OR HOLOCENE
9/28/07 SAN FRANCISCO, CA THE INDEPENDENT
9/29/07 LOS ANGELES, CA ECHOPLEX
10/1/07 SAN DIEGO, CA CASBAH
10/2/07 TUCSON, AZ PLUSH
10/4/07 AUSTIN, TX EMOS JR
10/5/07 DALLAS, TX PALLADIUM LOFT
10/6/07 BATON ROUGE, LA SPANISH MOON
10/8/07 TALLAHASSEE, FL BETA BAR
10/9/07 GAINESVILLE, FL COMMON GROUNDS
10/10/07 JACKSONVILLE, FL TSI
10/11/07 ORLANDO, FL THE CLUB AT FIRESTONE
10/12/07 ATLANTA, GA MJQ CONCOURSE
10/13/07 CHAPEL HILL, NC LOCAL 506

Tiger Army IIII – Music From Regions Beyond review

Tiger Armywritten by Mike Cox

“Music From The Regions Beyond” may be Tiger Army’s fourth full length offering, but it’s their first attempt at a radio friendly album. Oblivious only seconds into “Prelude: Signal Return” (track one) “Music From Regions Beyond” is just that, music from regions far beyond what has become the trademark Tiger Army style.

Prelude: Signal Return is IIII’s version of the recurring intro fans have become accustomed to. Gone is the black streaked Psycho-Billy style, replaced with a dark neo-disco pop sound that seems to be all the rage these days. Suffice it to say the track is saved by the dark thumping of Jeff Roffredo’s bass and the omnipresent group shout out: “Tiger Army Never Die!” followed by a bass laden track just oozing punk ferocity. The second cut “Hotprowl” starts full bore and never backs down. Highlighted by Nick13 showcasing his vocal talent, these two are the closest anyone is getting to vintage T.A. on IIII.

At this point things change. Now the catalyst for change could and should be attributed to several things. The slick “put me in rotation” sound comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with Producer Jerry Finn’s work. That’s right, the same Jerry Finn credited for
thrusting AFI into the national spotlight and jacking up Alkaline Trio’s Sound Scan. Finn really exerts his influence on tracks like “Afterworld” and “Forever Fades Away” the former even featuring AFI front man Davey Havok. Loyal fans may reject both tracks, but expect them to get some heavy airtime. And speaking of rejection, one has to question Nick13’s departure from the normal T.A. lyrical content. Gone are the days of evil anthems and b-grade blood and guts. Bye, bye Bram Stoker hello Anne Rice. When did Psycho-Billy become “emo” sensitive?

Musically the band has switched things up as well. Take for example track eight, “As The Cold Rain Falls” a confusing rant on some love lost supported by an eighties soundtrack that just reeks new wave revival. It’s almost contradictory. Listening to numbers like “Lunatone” and the Spanish take “Hechizo de Amor” (Spell of Love) will make loyal fans grimace with pain, yearn to grab T.A. II and play F.T.W. at full volume. Alas we are saved, “Where the Moss Slowly Grows” the albums eleventh and final song is a thought provoking Rock-a-Billy classic. The perfect medium for Nicks newer writing and softer vocal styles. Stirring chilling visions of a graveside outpouring with a lover no longer of this world.

Complaints and criticism aside, Tiger Army IIII amounts to a mediocre album from an excellent group. Even so fans should still be thankful. Nick13 is the sole reason T.A. exists. Having released four albums, the band has seen four different drummers and three count em three bass players. Nicks vision and dedication have never been more evident. So werecatyouth give thanks and send the evil shout out to Nick. Remember critical acclaim comes and goes with the moonlight, but loyal fans remain…like zombies in the night.

Original Article

65Daysofstatic hand-picked to support The Cure in the fall, summer U.S. tour launches July 18th. New album The Destruction

65Daysofstatic hand-picked to support The Cure in the fall, summer U.S. tour launches July 18th. New album The Destruction of Small Ideas album hailed by Kerrang magazine as “utterly peerless.”

“Kicking off with their trademark electric crackle, it’s clear that with their third album 65daysofstatic have resisted the urge to tone down their quite frankly mental tsunami of noise and make a play for the mainstream sales potential of an ever scene-conscious world. Instead, they have done what they’ve always done — thrown the rulebook out the window and grown organically. With such clinical conviction 65DOS are utterly peerless in their chosen field of post-rock.” — Razio Rauf, Kerrang Magazine

“65daysofstatic have made their masterpiece, or something close to it; three albums in, in the most dirty, shallow decade of music we’ve known, who else can say that? A handful, not enough. The Destruction of Small Ideas is a weight, a tower of babel, a journey, learnings, understandings, communication, evolution. I’ve been waiting. I was promised this or something like it. The rise and fall. All so deep, so rich, so comically dynamic and detailed and powerful for it that it makes me want to cry. How to make a record. Play loud.” — Stylus Magazine

British post-rock quartet 65daysofstatic has been hand-picked by goth-pop legends The Cure to support its entire North American tour this fall. The tour begins September 13th and runs through October, taking the band to arenas and amphitheaters nationwide — including the legendary Madison Square Garden in NYC and Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (see complete dates below.)

But, that won’t be the first chance for American audiences to experience the band that’s been all the rage in the UK, Europe and Asia for several years now. 65daysofstatic launches its first U.S. tour on July 18th (see complete dates below) with co-headliners Fear Before the March of Flames.

In the first week of its release, 65daysofstatic‘s new album The Destruction of Small Ideas sold out of its first pressing, forcing the label to scramble to meet the overwhelming demand. Likewise, press response overseas for the album has been phenomenal, with Kerrang magazine deeming the Sheffield, England quartet’s latest “utterly peerless” in the post-rock genre, awarding the album a 4/5 K-rating.

The new video for the first single from the album, “Don’t Go Down to Sorrow” has been posted online. Click HERE to watch.

The Destruction of Small Ideas is the highly-anticipated followup to its massively popular sophomore album. The 12-song collection released worldwide on April 30th via Monotreme Records. A three-song single “Don’t Go Down To Sorrow” preceded the album on April 9th, building upon the critical and commercial success of One Time For All Time in the UK, Europe and Japan which catapulted the band to festival stages and pages in the NME, The Wire, Rock Sound and many more since its release in 2005. That album was released in the U.S. in fall 2006.

65daysofstatic made its American live debut to an enthusiastic audience at the SXSW festival this past March at the Fanatic Promotion showcase. (We don’t want to gloat, but we’ve been telling the press for a year now that they’d be huge and it now looks like 65daysofstatic‘s ascent has begun!) Stylus magazine calls the album a masterpiece and American press has begun to pick up on the band, including forthcoming coverage in Magnet, Paste and Harp magazines.

In the past year, the group has packed venues and headlined festival dates overseas, as well as recording three radio sessions for BBC Radio One. Recently, MTV Asia aired an interview and live set from the band’s performance in front of more than 10,000 fans in Tokyo at the 2006 Summer Sonic festival.

During much of last year’s activity, 65daysofstatic‘s UK label Monotreme Records inked a deal for an American release of the refreshing gene-splice of electronic glitch and guitar girth heard on One Time For All Time for fall 2006. The album’s futuristic tone makes for a seductive score for an unwritten sci-fi epic that melds cutting guitars and electronic tones with sampled beats, live drums and computer glitch. But where IDM culture cuts out in the low end, 65daysofstatic delivers a thunderous wall of guitars that’s reportedly still shaking some festival grounds since last summer’s performances.

Following the European release of its acclaimed 2004 debut album The Fall of Math, 65daysofstatic spent several months touring the UK, playing to packed venues and festival tents. With the UK release of their second album, One Time For All Time in October 2005, 65daysofstatic further cemented its position as one of the most innovative bands to emerge in the UK, with its groundbreaking blend of drum’n’glitch beats, walls of guitar noise, broken laptop clicks and overwhelming melody. A relentless touring schedule in the UK and mainland Europe has seen the band share stages with the likes of Mono, Wolf Eyes, Hundred Reasons and Mogwai. The group headlined the Kerrang! Stage at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, followed by a headlining Kerrang! ‘Most Wanted’ sponsored tour.

Underoath: Just playing games, not seeking fame

UnderoathThere is a mass of shit on the floor, from clothes to teddy bears, given to the band by fans. Through the large windows of the $600,000 tour bus, all that can be seen is a line of fans, extending around the corners of Vancouver’s PNE Forum.

“What the hell was that breakaway,” shouts an Underoath band member. “That was ridiculous!” The group is playing some NHL game on a PS2. Show time is in an hour.

The boys are chilling out, “preparing” for an explosive 45-minute set of intense and mind-blowing songs taken from their latest album, Define the Great Line (released on June 10, 2006). Lead vocalist Spencer Chamberlain sits calm and collected, speaking in an almost monotone voice, but the 24-year-old expresses undeniable passion for what he does.

Original article

Tim Armstrong – A Poet’s Life

Tim Armstrong - A Poets LifePunks’ not dead! It’s just aging. No matter how you look at it, whether a roots revival or the evolution of style, Tim Armstrong’s new solo venture “A Poets Life” reeks with that disillusioned inner-city seediness that has for so long defined punk rock.

Straying from the true to form definition of punk, Armstrong seems to have revisited some of the more important roots. Mixing true ska and classic Jamaican dancehall with a little DIY punk attitude, gives “A Poets Life” that truly gritty heart wrenching sound. Backed by the L.A. based Aggrolites (one of the few true American dancehall bands), who seem to lay down the perfect beats. Be it party anthem or political banter, these cats are right on.

Now punk purists and pre-teen posers are gonna bitch, the former simply because it’s different, the latter due to the fact that they know what punk looks like. They can save it. Punk always has been and always will be about being different. If you’re too scared to try new things, (obliviously
Armstrong’s not) then leave this one alone.

Keep in mind no-one’s saying every track is great, that’s just not the case. Take for example “Oh No” an ode to Armstrong’s love for Los Angeles. It just doesn’t show the lyrical prowess he’s graced us with over the years. ” Lady Demeter” is another tired example. A rambling roost revolving around some wannabe gangsta club girl that just comes up empty.

On the flipside, we’re still treated to the rebellious party anthems we’ve come to know and love. “Into Action” showcases Armstrong’s undying love for the East Bay and the entire Golden State. Regardless as to my locale, every time I listen to it, I’m prime for Saturday night, rollin’ across the Bay Bridge, top down and spliff burning. “Take This City” is another anthem venturing back to the old days. Rolling around aimlessly in the Caddie, nowhere to go, nothing to do and lovin’ every minute of it.

Fun and games aside, we do have the obligatory political banter. What’s respectable here is that Tim’s not trying to come off as a martyr. He’s just trying to pen everyday life. “Inner City Violence” though full of modern propaganda directed at conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, could just as easily describe daily life in many American cities. Metaphorically describing the sense of hopelessness and oppression so many inner-city residents are forced to live with. Growing up impoverished and under privileged has been a constant theme in Armstrong’s music over the years. Gutter Punks from San Francisco to Seattle and out to N.Y.C. will no doubt connect with the tragic tone that “Among The Dead” sets. Waxing sentimental, Armstrong spotlights the blight of young homelessness in the East Bay, having been one of the many whose only roots stem from the once blossoming Berkeley scene. The final verse resolute: “Lets’ give a try, Give it one more run”.

– Mike Cox

The Bravery – The Sun and The Moon

The Bravery - The Sun and The MoonYou can see it in their faces on the album cover, that “what went wrong” kind of look. The Bravery were supposed to be New York’s next big thing, the new face riding the neo-new wave. Sadly in a sea of bands throwing in synthesizers and electronic drums not even a feud with The Killers could help them live up to the hype that hit most people long before the first single did. That’s not to say their first record wasn’t a modest success or solid from start to finish, it just wasn’t quite the splash everyone who heard the singles thought it was going to be. So with that out of the way let me say it was probably for the best and get on with this review.

The Sun and the Moon is a very subtle and mature departure from the sounds Bravery fans might be used to. It’s an indulgent record, but not selfish. The songs retain a comfortable structure and the album as a whole is polished and well rounded, The production is first-rate, but the mixing is where the post work really shines with all the little nuances popping out at just the right time perfectly accenting the feel of the songs. Vocally front man Sam Endicott works himself as just another instrument, going for the compliment rather than the hook (but still providing hooks-aplenty). Lyrically he pushes the abstract but with a little biased reading between the lines a theme of missed chances and perseverance appears from time to time. “Waiting for our ship to come, but our ships not coming back”.

The album starts with “believe” and “this is not the end” straight ahead rock tracks with bluesy heavy leads that drive the song. Ambient tones and harmonies with large passionate choruses and synth riffs there strictly for mood instead of movement. Both tracks follow a similar formula pulling the listener into the record. The tracks that follow, “Every Word Is a Knife in My Ear” and “Bad Sun” sound more like classic Bravery. Great dance songs, synth heavy, electronic drum, dangly earring, bob hair cut kind of stuff. Then the stand out song on the album ,“Time Won’t Let Me Go” , the kind of song that will show up on the sad uplifting part of Grey’s Anatomy or House. With the sing along bridge and outro this might be the sleeper summer song of 2007. Next up an acoustic bluesy song that doesn’t feel as out of place as it could. It does it job as a wind down track before the album takes a
different turn. If this were more of a cruising record this would be the song where you’re driving through the desert.

It is refreshing to hear a record the gets stronger in the second half. With obligations out of the way the songwriting really starts pushing itself. The structures loosen slightly and the songs start to have a more of the organic written with feeling more than formula touch. The backing vocals branch out with more creative risky melodies and it works. It is in this last half that fair-weather fans of the bravery will glaze over but music fans will really start to tune in. You can hear in the composition of the
last 5 tracks that The Bravery are taking chances and focusing on the sum of the parts being greater than the whole.

The album ends with a melancholy piece that crescendos into an ideal wrap up of The Sun and the Moon, a record that is quite impressive from start to finish. Major success on a grand scale might never be in the cards for these guys but integrity, substance and sold out shows in the “in vogue” venues is firmly in their grasp.

7.5/10 – JKE Dean