Thanks to the "buzz" of the blogosphere, certain aspiring young bands are now hot on Monday and cold by Friday – just ask The Arctic Monkeys, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Tapes ‘n Tapes. The new kids on the blog, Cold War Kids, are out to prove that “longevity” has a place in the hot today, cold tomorrow world of indie bloggers. Judging by their stellar debut Robbers & Cowards, you might find yourself on the bandwagon, even if you find their praise "unjustly deemed."
Robbers & Cowards is comprised mainly of tracks from Cold War Kids’s Up in Rags and With Our Wallets EPs. The common elements of today’s indie scene are all present from these Orange County kids. There are the jangly guitars with disarming melodies, yet Cold War Kids hold the cryptic energy of prototype punkers Televsion on “ Hang Me Up To Try,” and “Tell Me in the Morning.” Lead singer Nathan Willet captures his Jeff Buckley/Jack White comparisons with a driving howl, alongside edgy yet amusing lyrics, as shown on the piano driven “We Used to Vacation.” However, although Willet’s voice and piano is the highlight of Robbers and Cowards, it’s also its key hindrance, with its obvious limitations on the Raconteur sound-alike “Saint John.”
Although, its safe to assume that Cold War Kids will probably fall into a sophomore slump faster than you can say Franz Ferdinand, Robbers and Cowards, the album, is a rare indie debut that should have staying power with its shower of loose stories, blues and piano pop. Not a bad catch until the next Ben Folds album.