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.