Cold War Kids avoids indie rocker cliche on new album

The Biola-alumni alt-indie band delivers a mature, unique sound on their new album “Mine is Yours.”

Job Ang, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The indie darlings are graduating. Long embraced in the alt-indie circuit, the Biola-alumni band Cold War Kids are on the verge of something big. Signing on Jacquire King of Kings of Leon and Switchfoot fame to polish their indie rock sound, the Kids are back with “Mine Is Yours.”

In place of the stomping dissonance representative of their earlier material, the Cold War Kids elect for a more ethereal, effervescent sound. If anything, the record will suffer from the undeniable comparisons to fellow indie rockers Kings of Leon. Vocalist Nathan Willett’s vocalists are solid as ever, but he takes it to new heights, exploring more diverse lyrical themes while buoyed by the atmospheric guitar work of Jonnie Russell.

Starting on a spiritual note

The title track “Mine Is Yours” appropriately begins the record, a song that soars with southern rock soul and southern California breeziness. The opening “whoa whoa’s” aren’t cliche but set an almost spiritual tone to the record, channeling recent spiritual alternative acts like Mumford & Sons and The Black Keys. Willett’s vocals are vaguely reminiscent of a young Bono as well, as he passionately sings “what’s mine is yours.”

The Cold War Kids’ faith roots have always been an integral part of their music, and with their latest effort, that hasn’t changed. “Louder Than Ever,” the lead single, can be interpreted as a song sung to an estranged lover or to God. Willett sings that “I was taking you for granted, you were holding the reins,” before triumphantly singing “But I can hear you louder than ever / Whisper to me, help me remember / I can’t see you but we’re still together / I can hear you louder than ever.” It’s a powerful message of having faith to stick with it through the toughest struggles, whether it’s with God or with a person. Just like many Christian artists who eschew the “Christian rock” label, the Cold War Kids have managed to balance their faith with a wider message.

Continuing with the blues

“Royal Blue” is a preppy, foot-thumping blues number with all the gusto of a gospel ensemble. The guitar work is superb, bursting with sunny energy, while Matt Aveiro’s drumming and Matt Maust’s bass lines propel the song towards a feel-good conclusion. This sound continues in “Finally Begin,” a tune that sounds basically like “Royal Blue” part two.

“Out of the Wilderness” finds Willett doing his best to channel Brandon Flowers, while his backing band puts on their best Killers impression. “Broken Open” is one of the band’s most vulnerable songs to date, with more themes of worshipful surrender. With lyrics of “I have been broken open / This was not my master plan / I was comfortable watching from the stands / I have been broken open,” there is little doubt who this tune is addressed to.

Band succeeds in maturing sound

All in all, the Cold War Kids have put together one of the best records of 2011. In an effort to distance themselves from the crowd of indie rockers, they have successfully grown their sound while maintaining the energy and integrity that got them to where they are now. They appear poised for even greater things in the coming years, and one can only assume that it’s only a matter of time before the Kids are playing to the largest audiences of their careers.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

  Subscribe  
Notify of
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Cold War Kids avoids indie rocker cliche on new album

    Entertainment

    iStudiez: the most useful app you’ve never heard of

  • Cold War Kids avoids indie rocker cliche on new album

    Entertainment

    Global student’s fall playlist

  • Cold War Kids avoids indie rocker cliche on new album

    Entertainment

    “Malibu Nights” Review: LANY navigates through heartbreak in latest album

  • Cold War Kids avoids indie rocker cliche on new album

    Entertainment

    Budding actors prepare for the professional world

  • Cold War Kids avoids indie rocker cliche on new album

    Entertainment

    “Venom” entertains with witty humor and fun action

Cold War Kids avoids indie rocker cliche on new album