Friday, 7 November 2014

Record Review - Cold War Kids

Published in the Shortlist section of The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday November 7.

Cold War Kids
Hold My Home
Create Control / Downtown

With their fifth cut since 2004, Southern Californian quartet Cold War Kids have crossed a sonic divide. Virtually gone (in an obvious, 12-bar sense) is the blues influence that permeated their earlier music, in its place a freewheeling, upbeat feeling, all handclaps and sing-a-long choruses, layered guitars and booming piano, swirling B3, a psychedelic pop gem that bumps and grinds along, waving cheekily at the blues it’s left behind (but still secretly loves and misses), barefoot and fancy free.

Opener ‘All This Could Be Yours’, driven by Matthew Schwartz’s pounding piano, draws a blueprint for the rest of the album – ‘Hot Coals’ builds to a shimmering crescendo; ‘Nights & Weekends’ is all psych-layered warmth; ‘Harold Bloom’ brings it back, sparse, a melding of REM and Pink Floyd. The riff-led ‘Hotel Anywhere’ is perhaps the bluesiest track on the record, a nod to where they’ve been, on an album which, as a whole, sees a band who will embrace change without a second thought, doing it well.

Samuel J. Fell

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