Across The Atlantic #4 - Cold War Kids
Whilst I'd like to think that I've got my finger pretty close to the pulse of the alternative music scene, the Cold War Kids pretty much passed me by until I read a review of one of their Borderline shows in London before Christmas. The fact that this was covered not just over at Drowned In Sound and Playlouder but also The Independent and The Guardian newspapers suggests that these guys will transcend the indie left-field quite easily.
Pitched somewhere between the 1970's era Rolling Stones and the more rock n roll Primal Scream, it's music that's steeped in the past yet firmly placed in the now. The vocals wail, banshee like, over the quirkly and fractured rhythms that frequently just involve guitars and some basic percussion but sometimes augmented by a piano. I can't quite make up my mind whether I like them or not - some of the tracks, especially Hair Down remind me of The Walkmen, but tracks like Hang Me Up To Dry transcends their influences to create a haunting song full of bile and hate yet countered by a chirping guitar and upbeat rhythm section which in turn is offset by a off key piano riff - great stuff. Then there's Saint John which is a pretty much straight-forward gospel song, but infused with some slightly jarring drumming and odd piano riff that, when combined with the mixed vocals, just sounds fantastic.
Robbers & Cowards is only available on import in this country at the moment and is only a collection of some of their early EP's, but it's certainly worth trying to get hold off to make your own mind up. Their definitely worthy of investigation and, you can bet your bottom dollar, they'll be huge by the end of the year.