Fortune Favours the Bravery; They May Have Shot to Success with Indecent Haste, but There's More to This Week's Pop Favourites, Says Their Lead Singer, Than Silly Haircuts

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Byline: DAVID SMYTH

NO WONDER Sam Endicott's hair is shaped like a rocket. This year his band the Bravery have zoomed into rock's stratosphere at such a speed that he ought to consider some sort of metal coating to prevent burn-up on re-entry.

He and his four co-members of carefully styled New Yorkers were unknown at the start of the year, but after just one hit single - the frantic synthpop stormer, An Honest Mistake - and a top five debut album, they are selling out large-scale tours on both sides of the Atlantic. This month they play at London's Astoria as part of Bud Rising, a new 10-day season of gigs that aims to showcase hopeful stars as well as a few established players. But the buzz around the Bravery has become so intense that they are now the mustsee act of the entire line-up. No longer stars of tomorrow, their time is right now.

They are not soaring skywards alone.

A crop of new bands, including Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs and Kasabian, have all made it big in a blink, and critics are suggesting an equally hurried descent to come. Endicott is unconcerned.

Sitting with his boots on the table in the club Soho House, his fingernails decorated with chipped black varnish and the word "LION-IZED" scrawled across his knuckles in permanent marker, the 24-year-old is perfectly happy to be part of the disconcerting rush of bands from the garage to the big time.

"Maybe I'm naeve, but I believe that a band's success has to do with their quality, not with their hype," he says.

"If you've got good songs and you work hard, you can get past all this."

There are certainly no complaints about the tracks, which smother danceable, tune-packed pop rock in the analogue synth sounds repopularised last year by the Killers. "Synths are a bit like religion. They're not intrinsically bad but they have been used for bad purposes in the past."

On the album, Public Service Announcement has a rubbery disco bassline, Swollen Summer features high-speed punk riffs and a bountiful supply of tuneful hooks and Endicott yelps with passion and energy on every track. A convincing frontman, he gave up the bass and taught himself to sing just so that he could be the star of his own group.

This man was plotting his own pop videos long before fame was a realistic possibility. …

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