Make War Not Peace
For a band only together two years, Cold War Kids have gained an impressive amount of acclaim and fan base. With the release of their first full-length album Robbers and Cowards their popularity comes as no surprise. This album overflows with fervent emotion starting from the opening song, “We Used to Vacation.”Nathan Willett sings of a man’s struggle with alcohol, “I promised to my wife and children I’d never take another drink as long as I live / but even then it sounds so soothing to take a drink and slip into oblivion.” With such a catchy melody you’re shocked to find yourself dancing to the man’s struggle. This is where Cold War Kids excel. Every song, like “Passing the Hat” and “Robbers,” delves into characters’ everyday issues and life struggles.
Stealing money from the offering plate and humanizing a robber become smartly phrased sing along poetics. Matt Maust and Johnnie Russel’s wailing guitar strings and Matt Aveiro’s crashing beats give the band a frantic feel. Add in their harmonious cries and the album’s momentum becomes an irresistible force.
Cold War Kids prefer to tell the often overlooked stories of epic conflicts in an average life. Their stars — like a brother on death row for defending his sister in “St. John”– give listeners a new outlook on complicated situations. Announced with Willett’s evangelical clarity and a jumbling racket of heartfelt sound, who knew Robbers and Cowards could make for such great musical companions?