Album Review: Cold War Kids – Hold My Home

Hold My Home

cold war kids albumReleased March 9th 2015

Words: Jimmy Gallagher

When we first heard Hang Me Up To Dry in 2007 from their debut album at the time Robbers And Cowards, people were clambering over each other to find out who was behind that hard hitting post modern blues classic.

8 years on and the jamboree surrounding Cold War Kids is but a memory but with their fifth studio album – Hold My Home the purists and fans alike, who never looked back, welcome a record that remains true to their past style and objectives.

A piano line brings in All This Could Be Yours and from then on in it all seems very familiar. Nathan Willett’s voice is immediately identifiable, much like Modest Mouse’s lead singer Isaac K. Brock, it is not for everyone’s taste but it suits and sits comfortably over the guitar based blues ballads, as if to add to the strain of the melancholic material of which he is more accustomed to communicate.

The songs are simplistic in their form and are top loaded with guitar and keys as the rhythm section takes a back seat. That is the Cold War Kids way and has been since the beginning. The songs centre around the feeling and the song is what ultimately matters.

In First the sentiment feels a bit too much. The clean production is a far cry from the clangy untidiness of that first great cult classic Hang Me Up To Dry all those years ago. Cold War Kids certainly have maintained the knack of making accessible guitar music, they do not overcomplicate things to take away from the tune.

The current single off Hold My Home is a strong one. Hot Coals demonstrates the repetitive chords squeezing out of Dan Gallucci’s guitar contrasting against the rising vocal notes Willett can reach quite surprisingly. This track has a bit of a darker side and is slightly dirtier than the more formulated and prosaic songs on the album, the production apart.

Although Hold Your Home contains the essence of what Cold War Kids are about, it is evident that they have mellowed over time which is forgivable but it could inadvertently open them up to a fresh market who may have been intimidated by the more care free, untamed band they used to be.

Organ takes lead in Drive Desperate which trundles along nicely until the chorus spoils it somewhat and Hotel Anywhere could be a Simple Minds reunion. It is plain to see that Cold War Kids are best when they do blues rock and fortunately they revert to type for the rest of Hold My Home.

This is a pleasing album from a good band.

 

Watch the video for Hot Coals here:

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