Cold War Kids are a good band, no doubt. Any band that does a fairly accurate take on White Album-era Lennon and the bass-led twang of any number of great American bands from the last thirty years or so can't be bad.
But they're not a great band. So far they've done little to suggest that they can grab listeners by the neck and infuse them with the ineffable sense that nothing could matter more than the words that Nathan Willett is singing. You can picture them in a dingy LA bar, illuminated only by flickering neon Miller Lite signs.
On 'Hang Me Out To Dry' Matt Maust's bass sounds like it could pull roots from the ground. It forms a formidable spine that Nathan Willett wraps himself around as he throws himself to the mercy of, what one assumes, is a particularly horrible ex-girlfriend. As he sings about being wrung out "too many times" his anguish is audible. You have to hope his foot wasn't trapped in a mangle.
It’s not easy to do heart-felt rock music without sounding preposterous but Cold War Kids do just about pull it off. Give them time and they might be great.
7Will Dean's Score