"Waiting for our ship to come, but our ship's not coming back," Sam Endicott sings on the second track of The Bravery's second album, The Sun And The Moon, summing up his band's current predicament in perfect, painful fashion. It's only been two years since The Bravery's underappreciated debut established the NYC quintet as the Stone Temple Pilots to the Killers' Pearl Jam of new new wave. Still, it seems so long ago—is Hal Sparks already mouthing the words to "An Honest Mistake" on VH1's I Love The Mid-'00s?
While The Killers went on to raid Bruce Springsteen's bolo-tie collection, The Bravery has kept the frothy side of '80s music alive on The Sun And The Moon, which makes sense: Great '80s pop is rooted in shameless, mercenary trashiness, an aesthetic that fits The Bravery like a fingerless glove. The Sun And The Moon might be as essential as another Kajagoogoo album, but on its own modest terms—meaning appealing to those who guiltily loved The Bravery—it's a minor success, brimming with hooks nicked from Duran Duran and Naked Eyes, as well as few of their own.