Local Wire

Brave Citizens

In terms of originality, there's nothing brave about what these citizens are up to. Sonically, they worship at the un-nuanced, widescreen altars of U2, Angels & Airwaves, and the Killers; vocally, frontman/guitarist Andrew Capra seems to regard Patrick Stump as a mentor, aping the Fall Out Boy singer's tendency for R&B-ish exaggeration. After all, why shout, mumble, scream, or come up with incisive sentiments when you can simply engage in all manner of vocal calisthenics to convey a range of emotions in a three-minute pop-rock song? An answer to that question may not be immediately forthcoming, but here's something that isn't in doubt: This California quartet likely will be medium-indie-huge. Stylistic derivations aside, Brave Citizens know a stadium-size hook when they stumble over one, and Capra is no slouch at making each and every chorus hit seem like the crest of a surging, surgically sculpted 75-foot wave. Lyrical, universal vapidity doesn't hurt, either — ah, to be young and in love with writing about being young and in love — but strategically placed keyboards up the ante enough that they'll wind up soundtracking your first big breakup or the closing credits of your favorite show's season-ender, if not hosting Saturday Night Live.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Cummings