Cold War Kids – Robbers & Cowards

ARTIST: Cold War Kids                220px-Cowards_and_Robbers_Cover

TITLE:  Robbers & Cowards

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: #173 US, #4 Heatseekers, #15 US Indie, #35 UK

SINGLES:  Hair Down, We Used to Vacation, Hang Me Up to Drive (#122 US, #26 US Alternative, #57 UK), Hospital Beds (#140 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I don’t think so….but you could surprise me.

LINEUP: Nathan Willett, Jonathan Bo Russell, Matt Aviero, Matt Maust.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Kinda indie band releases interesting debut album with some highlights and some songs that seem auto-piloted in.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: “We Used to Vacation” and “Hang Me Up to Drive”, the lead two cuts, use a pleading vocal and dissonance in guitar and piano to add to tension and give a unique sonic sound to what’s just generic alternative rock.

While that’s a good start, the rest of the 10 cuts are hit-and-miss. Not to say there aren’t highlights, but for the most part the highlights are hidden in songs; songs that seem to be re-hashes of the first two cuts or moves into a copy of My Morning Jacket complete with echo.

New artists and debut albums sometimes get into the rut of everything kinda sounding alike at times. I think that’s a normal outgrowth of a stage act and seeing what works and doesn’t. Listening all the way through, you notice it. I did here.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They release three EPs before this album came out, but none are streaming as far as I could find.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but there’s one of those infernal hidden tracks.

GRADE: B: I can probably live without it, to be honest, but it’s decent enough that I can live with it and play it once in a while.

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