Cold War Kids – Robbers and Cowards

Cold War KidsI think this has actually got to be one of the first albums I’ve written about that’s actually come out in 2007. Well, to be anal about it, Robbers and Cowards was released in the US at the end of 2006 but it’s only been out a few weeks now. All in all I’m looking forward to this year; there’s new albums from Arcade Fire, Bloc Party, Aereogramme, Malcolm Middleton, Idlewild and more. Plus, there will be untold exciting debut albums that will come outta nowhere and have brilliant music on them. Cold War Kids have been hyped by the US indie press (Filter, Wired and so forth) and with good reason. The NY-based group have come out with a damm fine debut album; the band are really tight, the songs are good and singer Nathan Willett has a great voice that seems to change with every song.

The opening track “We Used To Vacation” tells the effects of alcholism affecting a family, but there’s dark humour in it “I give a cheque to tax-deductable, charity organisations,”. The bouncy, piano-led melody is really catchy too. “Hang Me Up To Dry” has anothe catchy bass/drum riff that keeps the song going to the chrous, where Nathan’s voice really takes off. The sparkly “Tell Her In The Morning” is another great track; the guitar riff just sounds like it’d be great when the sun is going down. “Hair Down” has got a great line in it “she bargains like a lawyer”, but it doesn’t grab me the way the first three tracks did.

But the rest of the album is really good, whether it’s “Passing The Hat” with it’s Eastern-European kinda guitar line, or the gospel blues of “Saint John”. The muffled “Robbers” passes too quickly, but “Hospital Beds” has more of the same low-key ambience, “Pregnant” is a bit twee, but not that bad. The clattering “God, Make Up Your Mind” and the “Rubidoux”. Robbers and Cowards is definately different from the raft of Talking Heads-inspired, “new new wave” bands that’s come out of NY over the last few yearsand for that reason alone, you should check out this album. Oh, and it’s got some great songs on it too.

Cold War Kids – Hang Me Up To Dry:


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