Review ·

As far as hook-barbed songs go, Loyalty to Loyalty’s leadoff single, “Something Is Not Right with Me,” cuts likes razor wire with its sheer, bludgeoning infectiousness.  As far as second albums go, Loyalty to Loyalty isn’t nearly as immediate as its unrepresentative single -- yet it’s not exactly a post-Robbers & Cowards misstep, either. 

 

The members of Cold War Kids have deepened their sound rather than expanding it. Lead single notwithstanding, Loyalty finds the band more interested in exploring the atmosphere and mood of their music rather than ridiculously trying to hone it to the hypermelodic nosebleed heights that any attempt to top “Hang Me Up to Dry” would require.

Eschewing muscular rock for skeletal blues, Nathan Willett’s cracked-throat tales of shadowy cinemascope are married to dusk-lit and dusty mirages that meld taut post-punk to loose-woven Americana. The hazy, sand-blurred results -- songs like the ringing, minimalist bounce of  “Mexican Dogs” or the stark guitar spirals of the popchimed “Dreams Old Men Dream” -- don't quite overwhelm the record that preceded them but are deserving of the hype they inherited.

 

It might not have been the most sales-savvy approach, but it very well may be the right one for the band.  The Kids are growing up, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  • Against Privacy
  • Mexican Dogs
  • Every Valley Is Not a Lake
  • Something Is Not Right with Me
  • Welcome to the Occupation
  • Golden Gate Jumpers
  • Avalanche in B
  • I've Seen Enough
  • Every Man I Fall For
  • Dreams Old Men Dream
  • On the Night My Love Broke Through
  • Relief
  • Cryptomnesia

Just as many were overjoyed to see the Cold War end up in the dustbin of history, so too would certain music fans like to see the Cold War Kids call it a day. The Los Angeles area band's 2006 debut, Robbers & Cowards, seemed to garner the Cold War Kids just as many detractors, if not more, than fans. But the band soldiers on with sophomore set Loyalty to Loyalty, remaning loyal to its regular guy rock sound. Think a watered down National, which many already think of as a watered down Joy Division, which is why many find nothing original to like in this band. Not helping on that front: the songs "Golden Gate Jumpers" and "Welcome to the Occupation." The first mines territory already visited by Sleater-Kinney on that band's song "Jumpers," while the second, although sharing a title with an R.E.M. classic, apparently is not a cover. With all this, it's quite bold that the last track on the album is named "Cryptomnesia," which is a mental disorder in which people attribute others' ideas to themselves.

***

Band: http://www.coldwarkids.com

Label: http://www.downtownrecordings.com

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/coldwarkids 

High Places - High Places Max Richter 24 Postcards in Full Colour

are you reviewing the actual album or just the track titles themselves?

1fineday

The National isnt watered down Joy Division. Interpol is. and The National is good, so get a grip.

annathebo

have you actually listened to the songs? you havent said anything about how it actually SOUNDS. how is this a review?

Kat

It's not a review, it's an album Preview.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/pill/mm_broccolijpg.JPG pill

i agree. even as a preview, the only thing that was discussed was the names? no good.

ljioo

I can see the unoriginal tag with this band, but the National being a watered down Joy Division? That makes no sense at all.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

idiot

billyho

Yeah, the National are more Americana-influenced than Joy Division. Editors are a watered-down Joy Division.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/thestorfer/1202393jpeg.jpeg andross

CWK are nothing like the National. They are not melodic-driven, emo-lyric-ed like Belle and Sebastian or Bright Eyes or The Postal Service or Band of Horses. Those are bands like the National. If you said The White Stripes as a comparison to CWK, I might actually consider what comes after in your inane blather. Have you actually listened to their songs?

BK

CWK are nothing like the National. They are not melodic-driven, emo-lyric-ed like Belle and Sebastian or Bright Eyes or The Postal Service or Band of Horses. Those are bands like the National. If you said The White Stripes as a comparison to CWK, I might actually consider what comes after in your inane blather. Have you actually listened to their songs? You haven't, have you? HAVE YOU?

BK

Early in their career, around "Sad Songs..." The National were lumped with all the 80s infused rock that popped up everywhere. Interpol being the finest among them. They toured opening for Clearwater. But The National aren't part of this group. As someone said, they have a more americana influence and bare little relation to Joy Division -in my opinion.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/dukkookim/6460_1130716601218_1626340558_309884_1280450_njpg.jpg dukkookim

I can see White Rabbits compared to CWK, but to copy all the other thougths above me, the National is nothing like CWK....I saw CWK live and really liked them, but their albums do not compare in my mind to the quality of The National...and.The progression goes Joy Division - Interpol (whose last album was weak as hell, after two great LP's) - Editors (who's songs are ridiculously boring after you pass the 30 second mark)

/site_media/uploads/images/users/basho/pirate mug.jpg basho

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