Cold War Kids Behave Themselves and I Couldn’t Be Happier

I did a Band Pimping on the Cold War Kids not too long ago and I mentioned they recently released a new EP called Behave Yourself. I’d been looking all over for the damn CD for weeks and couldn’t find it in stores–probably because I’m the only person that still buys CDs–so I ordered it from good ol’ and haven’t stopped listening to it since it arrived earlier in the week.

Cold War Kids just keep getting better.

The short song selection begins with “Audience”, which is already the leading contender for Rob’s Favorite Song of 2010, which is obviously much more important than a Grammy.  It’s a fantastic soul-inspired track about women and since I like me some ladies, it speaks to me.  Front man Nathan Willett’s voice, which can sometimes get a little falsetto-y, is in great form throughout the entire song.

“Coffee Spoon” is another soulful song with some good “woo-woo”‘s going on.  “Santa Ana Winds” is a bit of a return to form for the band, getting back to the Velvet Underground-meets-Dylan sound they had on their debut album, Robbers and Cowards.

Speaking of Robbers and Cowards, the ‘Kids reprise the hidden track from that album, entitled “Sermons vs. the Gospel”.  It’s a straight up gospel song and this version is a slower, fuller one than the original.  It’s haunting, it echoes, and it’s slightly political.  I’m a big, big fan of it.

The EP ends with a short hidden track called “Baby Boy” that seems to be the result of some studio jamming.

This minor album seems to be a bit of a shift in the band’s direction, but one I like a lot.  They’re smoothing out some of their edges, and guitarist Jonnie Russell, formerly the band’s weakest link, has improved tremendously since their early EPs.  His guitar is taking a larger role in their newer songs and is performing more than just a complementary role to the piano.  Drummer Matt Aveiro is very good and provides a CCR stomping backbone to the songs.  Matt Maust, the bassist, also does a great job.  Willett’s voice and piano work are again quite good and reminiscent of Jack White.  I hope this album is a glimpse of the future for the Cold War Kids and I can’t wait to hear what they do next.


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