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CD Review: The Bravery 

Stir the Blood (Island)

The Bravery are good at marketing. They're the kind of band that posts "leaks" of new tracks on its website, gives things away on Facebook and does album pre-orders of autographed merch. This has helped them spend a few years just under the radar — big enough to be on a major label and pack mid-sized clubs, small enough to avoid the "new musical saviors" baggage bands like the Strokes and Franz Ferdinand were saddled with out of the gate.

Their third album's first single, "Slow Poison," is pretty good, except for a few groanworthy lyrics by singer Sam Endicott. The band's Echo and the Bunnymen impression and excellent synths bring the track back from the brink of comedy. The band's synth work is one of the album's high points. It's something the Bravery have always done well, and they do it well here on cuts like "Song for Jacob" and "Red Hands and White Knuckles." But Endicott brings at least one or two awful lyrics to the table for every tune. That he delivers them with the melodrama of a young Robert Smith doesn't help the unintentional comedy factor. — Jeremy Willets

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