When it comes to establishing longevity in the fickle music industry, there's no secret that the sophomore album is perhaps the most vital.
Invariably, this either thrusts the act into the limelight or obscurity. Such fears were definitely attached to rock act The Bravery, which a few years back was heralded along with The Killers as an engine of the neo-New Wave scene.
Following its 2005 self-titled debut album and hit single "An Honest Mistake," the New York City band became cognizant of its delicate future. It'd seen Brandon Flowers and Co. go multi-platinum, then weather a storm of criticism over the Killers' ambitious second album, 2006's Sam's Town.
"When we first started recording the album, we had to make a decision," says Bravery singer Sam Endicott, calling from Las Vegas. "Are we going to do what we kind of did on the first one? Or are we going to experiment and try different things? And then we were like, "Fuck it, let's try both.'
"One album would be more organic, acoustic and with a producer in the studio. That's more experimental for us. The other disc would be kind of like more [of] the first album: electronic, dance rhythms, darker and no producer."
While The Bravery's vision was grand, the realities of the marketplace initially won out. Island Records decided the band would be better off showing its acoustic side, and that's what you get on 2007's The Sun and the Moon.
Still, Endicott and his bandmates weren't content.
So in March, Island released The Sun and the Moon Complete. The double-CD finds The Bravery's dream coming to fruition, with one CD featuring the organic sound and the second album featuring the same songs, reinterpreted New Wave style.
"That was where kind of the name The Sun and the Moon came from, because it was kind of like there will be a sort of lighter and more organic side and then a darker, more synthetic side," Endicott says. "It was more just something we wanted to do for ourselves. We really wanted to get the material out there. Now we've started to play new versions live, and that's really cool."
Fans attending the band's upcoming Colorado Springs date can expect to hear plenty of reinterpreted material. For example, the string-enhanced "Tragedy Bound" has received a facelift, with the addition of synth beats and arpeggiators.
It'll be interesting to see what The Sun and the Moon Complete does for The Bravery, which has lost the momentum it enjoyed around its self-titled debut. Endicott admits that part of the drag has come from The Bravery's image as a party band with a penchant for drama. (Remember its high-profile quarrel with The Killers?)
"It felt like especially in the U.K., how we were received had nothing to do with the band," Endicott says. "They were like, "The Bravery is raging hedonists, and we're just crazy partiers and just fucked up all of the time ...
"There is some truth to that, but that's 10 percent of it. Most of the time, we're working hard at our music."