Hello from the Cold War Kids
It's been amazing year for the band, its fans and the music.... oh the music! I met the band first at the Middle East on June 6 of last year in an amazing line-up with Tapes N Tapes and The Figurines. It was quite a night. The guys in the band (Nate, Johnny, Matt and Matt) have been playing sold-out shows across the country and making fans out of unsuspecting concert-goers ever since. I have since written about the band a handful of times, and what follows is my review of the Robbers and Cowards album which was released on October 10 as well as some bonus live material. Enjoy - and if you don't have any of their material, now would be the time to click over to their page and pick up the album or one of their EPs!
Downtown Records (Gnarls Barkley, Eagles of Death Metal) today release the Cold War Kids' full-length debut, Robbers & Cowards. The album follows the Southern California band's release of three EPs in two years: Mulberry Street, Up in Rags, and With our Wallets Full. Do what you can to get to the record store and pickup Robbers and Cowards today.
The CWK's edge may come in unusual time signature drum and guitar pieces accentuated with powerful blues- and gospel-like vocals, piano solos and defining bass.
The band may have passed another threshold recently. The band appeared in a full-page splash in Interview magazine - A trendy publication which proudly touts itself as "the crystal ball of pop." Success in this case is hardly difficult to predict.
As a loyal CWKs fan, I am left with one nagging question: Where the hell are these powerful lyrics coming from?
Most musicians their age are writing about loud music or their ex-girlfriends. Cold War Kids write with a surprising level of culture, experience and conscience.
Take "Hospital Beds" for instance...
What band out there is writing songs about strangers laying in adjacent hospital beds? The premise: two bed-ridden strangers are forced to relate to one another because of their common thread - humanity, proximity and fear. Seriously - that's unreal.
Tell me the story
The song, "We Used to Vacation" is improbably about the break-up of an adult relationship in which alcohol is the third partner. The listener is meant to understand that to a passive viewer - a child perhaps, the manifestation of this breakup is the fear that there will be no more family vacations; no more good times. Amazing.
We Used to Vacation album version
I suppose it's like anything, you either get it or you just don't -
I just think the Cold War Kids make it easy to listen to the music.
A picture I took of Jonnie of the Cold War Kids after a show earlier this year.