Cold War Kids’ latest release feels right at home

Cold War Kids strike the perfect balance of grit and polish in, “Hold My Home.”

Tyler Davis, Writer

Cold War Kids’ rise has been slow yet steady. The band, which includes three Biola alumni, has always crafted quality, well-written songs that are accessible and unique. Their first releases sounded gritty, dirty and bluesy. They gained attention from fans of bands like The Black Keys and Jack White’s various projects. Things changed a bit when the band recorded their album “Mine Is Yours” with Jacquire King, the genius producer behind Kings of Leon’s breakthrough record “Only By The Night.” King is known to push vocalists to remarkable levels of talent and this is no doubt true with Cold War Kids frontman Nathan Willet. The quality of production as a whole skyrocketed on “Mine Is Yours” and continued with “Miracle Mile.”

On their latest release “Hold My Home,” the band has stripped away the majority of the extra electronic elements present on “Miracle Mile” and has in many ways mixed the best of both worlds, employing both the raw qualities of their first two releases, and the professional production value of their recent albums. The first track “All This Could Be Yours” has the same rootsy elements that their fans first loved, while also showcasing the band’s evolution as artists and musicians.

While most bands in the indie rock sphere focus solely on guitar tones, Cold War Kids pound away at the piano. This is not to say they neglect the guitar in any way, but Nathan Willet’s aggressive and percussive playing is in many ways reminiscent of the aforementioned Jack White’s recent piano driven tracks. And boy does it sound good.

With “Hold My Home,” Cold War Kids seem to have struck the perfect balance of grit and polish, with some songs such as the U2-esque “Hotel Anywhere” feeling right at home in a stadium, along with songs like the bright and percussive “Nights And Weekends” that fit right in at any number of rock clubs around the country. Willet’s vocals have never been better and the band has never been tighter. Cold War Kids have always had something special and this album realizes that truth to its full potential.

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