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The Bravery 

With Story of the Year and Between Home and Serenity. Saturday, December 17, at the Agora Theatre.

When the Bravery released its debut disc earlier this year, critics dismissed the band as a bunch of hacks who were cashing in on a hot sound. The group's detractors were so vitriolic that sympathetic souls spoke out on its behalf, creating Bravery-backlash backlash. To give the band due process, we considered the charges against these dapper defendants.

· Charge: The Bravery's singer, Sam Endicott, stands accused of shameless sandbagging.
· Evidence: A dreadlocked Endicott once did time in a group called Skabba the Hut, which coined the tagline "Bust a Nut with Skabba the Hut." Anyone who played in a horny, Star Wars-obsessed ska band forfeits the right to adopt a too-cool urbane persona.
· In his defense: Endicott mercifully sat out the nü-metal movement.

· Charge: The Bravery's lyrics make its music (disco hi-hats, squealing solo-studded rawk, frilly ambiance, and fey grooves) look masterful.
· Evidence: Endicott's "lyrics" range from idiotic to banal. The following lines are his worst: "You put the broke in broken hearted/You put the art in retarted" (sic).
· In its defense: During "An Honest Mistake," Endicott murmurs, "Sometimes I forget I'm still awake." He's citing the Prince precedent ("I was dreaming when I wrote this"), forgetting that this excuse remained valid only until the close of 1999.

· Verdict: We find the Bravery guilty on all counts. We hereby sentence this band to pucker up and kiss our ass.

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