Infinite Shuffle

November 2, 2012

135 – Cold War Kids

Filed under: C, Long Beach Calif. — assman41 @ 4:48 am

It happens all the time. A new band hits the scene with a really popular song and gets a lot of buzz behind its first album. By the time the next release drops, there isn’t necessarily another big hit that galvanises the fan base. The hype dies down and listeners move on to the next “it” band, paying little attention to future releases.

Often, that kind of procession is warranted, as bands only have a couple of really great songs in them. But, sometimes, bands end up improving, yet there’s no one around to notice.

That’s where Cold War Kids find themselves. They hit the ground running in October 2006 when they released their debut full-length, Robbers & Cowards. The album was highlighted by the big single, “Hang Me Up To Dry”.

There were some other decent songs on there, including “We Used To Vacation” and “Saint John”, but, for the most part, the band was a one-hit wonder. Part of it was due to its unique sound. Nathan Willett’s vocals are like nobody else’s, and they sound like they may come from a slightly masculine woman.

By the time the follow-up album, Loyalty to Loyalty, came out in 2008, the band’s juice had run out. And with only one notable track on the release — “Something Is Not Right With Me” — the band appeared to be destined for the clearance section on Amazon.com.

Then something interesting happened. The band put out a four-track EP, Behave Yourself, in early 2010. Clocking in at just under 15 minutes, there wasn’t much to the release — except that all of the songs were pretty decent, particularly the single, “Audience”, which easily ranks as one of the best songs in the band’s catalog.

Barely a year later, in January 2011, Cold War Kids put out their third full-length, Mine Is Yours. While it didn’t receive the same kind of buzz as previous releases, the album is easily the band’s best to date.

Led by the opening title track, the disc is filled with soulful, indie rock songs that have little of the abrasiveness of the band’s earlier output. The bulk of the songs here are very accessible and at least mildly catchy.

Other quality tracks include “Louder Than Ever”, “Finally Begin”, “Skip the Charades” and “Royal Blue”.

The album charted surprisingly well, which makes one wonder if there will be renewed buzz for the band when it inevitably releases another EP or full-length within the next year or so.

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