Not so Underground AnymoreTuesday, March 01, 2011 By Jesus Gonzales
After seven years underground Cold War Kids have emerged, with the release of their new album Mine Is Yours. The band consists of Nathan Willett (volcalist, piano player, guitar player), Matt Maust (bass guitar player), Jonnie Russell (guitarist, piano player, vocalist) and Matt Aveiro (drummer). The indie rock band originating in Long Beach, California, began their carrer with the release of their debut album, Robbers and Cowards in 2006. It’s their best album to date, combining many experimental elements of soul, preaching anecdotes with a touch and raw attitude. If it had a genre I would call it punky-soul jams. For their new and 3rd CD however, a lot has changed. It seems as though the band traded in their originality for a chance to become more mainstream. Most songs tend to be very catchy a sing along unlike previous albums. Also nothing is too personal this time around the songs are very broad and generic. Songs like “Louder Than Ever” and “Royal Blue” are probably the closest it gets to their original sound. However, even those songs are still off compared to their previous standards. “Louder Than Ever” is almost like an anthem, singing “I can hear you louder than ever, whisper to me help me remember”, It reminded me of a song “Something Is not Right with Me” off their second album. The reason this album sounded very different is due to their producer Jacquire King. Cold War Kids were aiming higher as he has produced the latest Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, and Modest Mouse. Unfortunately their essence is lost in the process. There is much to be said for the band live though, on the day the album was released they played a free show at Amoeba Music in Hollywood which I was able to attend. I was a bit sad that the only played 2 old songs and 9 new ones, yet it was the first time I was hearing most of these songs and I was impressed. Excited about the new album specifically when they played “Sensitive Kid” I feel in love with the changes. I was also able to attend Jimmy Kimmel Live the next day where again they played songs from the new album and new album only. The same thing happened I was more familiar with the album now that I owned it. In hindsight, it sounded so much better live, the album does not do the band justice. At times it can be repetitive, dull, and a 4 minute song can feel like about 20. When they played the songs live I got more of that attitude they used to have that I had grown to know and love. Every now and then a band comes along like Cold War Kids and amazes us with their unique approach to music. They should of tried to keep that feeling rather than attempt to increase their fan base. It has some hits and some misses, defiantly a disappointment for most fans but this will not define them. They have plenty of other songs and will continue to do and play music for all.