Review Summary: Brave Bird do what they do just to make you feel good, but does that mean they should?
I feel like it's becoming a cliche to write about an emo band losing their charm when they go for a more "mature" sound on their second or third release. Scratch that, it's already a firmly established cliche, and Brave Bird continue the trend with their new EP T-Minus Grand Gesture.
I feel a bit odd proclaiming this release mature considering half the songs float around the two minute mark and feel like underdeveloped ideas rather than fully fleshed out songs. I guess going from a fun, upbeat and messy sound to a mellower, more indie rock sensibility doesn't necessarily constitute as maturation. Brave Bird showcase their new grown up sound on the tracks "I Don't Wanna Know," "Rekindle," and "Hard Enough," which are good songs, but Brand New did it exponentially better eleven years ago. The only real stand out is the title track, whose catchy, mathy, and twinkly riffs coupled with simple yet poignant lyrics and rough vocals showcases the band's wasted potential. Unfortunately Brave Bird seems more interested in writing Brand New worship than top shelf emo tracks, and T-Minus Grand Gesture
suffers for it.
I feel like I've written this review several times, and it's because I have. Almost every emo revival band that doesn't break up goes for a more indie and/or pop-punk sound as if they're trying to go commercial, or are simply afraid to be emo. Brave Bird certainly fall under this assessment, and it's a shame because the band has it in them to write killer songs like the title track. One stellar cut, three good ones, and four middle of the road tracks certainly makes for an above average release, but the potential Brave Bird have instilled in them makes T-Minus Grand Gesture
a disappointing release.