First by Cold War Kids

Cold War Kids released their 5th album in October – “Hold My Home”.  Hailing from the OC in Fullerton, CA, the band released their first full length album “Robbers & Cowards” in 2006.  Their debut came after some well-hyped EPs and live performances, and it showed a great deal of promise for the band (and a track made my best of list from 2006).  Their sound is anchored around the distinctive vocals of guitarist/pianist Nathan Willet.  Willet is currently joined by bassist Matt Maust, guitarist Dann Gallucci, new drummer Joe Plummer and new keyboardist Matthew Schwartz.  After their very promising debut, the band failed to live up to expectations with their next 3 albums.  But “Hold My Home”, possibly inspired by the fairly new line-up (guitarist Gallucci joined the album prior), is a very positive step in the right direction.  The band has elected to go with a much more straightforward sound, and a number of tracks appear to be very radio-friendly with the potential to be solid hits.  It seems like the band has taken a few tips and has been influenced by some other bands that have proven to be very radio-friendly – fun., Imagine Dragons and U2 all come to mind in some ways when listening to the new album.  Hopefully this move pays off for the band and a few of their new songs become hits.  The first six songs on the new album stand up to anything I’ve seen put out by radio-friendly bands.  The quality drops down a little over the last 5 songs, but “Hold My Home” is still a very solid album from start to finish.  The band recorded the new album in their own studio, and they did a nice job on the production – everything sounds really clear and the instruments and voice are all effectively highlighted.  I’ve included links to three different songs below.  If you like the music, then don’t hesitate to purchase the album.
 
“First” is the second track on the album and starts off with a jangly guitar playing around a stomp and clap beat.  Willet’s vocals are the focus when they come into the song.  The instrumentation is very sparse but effective as Willet sings his butt off on this track.  It’s very catchy and I’m wondering if this track will prove to be a big radio hit.

 

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