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Robbers & Cowards by Cold War Kids

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Reviewed on 14th February 2007.

 
 

Robbers & Cowards

By Cold War Kids

The much-hyped Cold War Kids must be wondering what they have done to deserve all the attention... Jeff Buckley? Jack White? Christians? Indie? Were just a few things that got people talking (and managed to divide people along the way), though it would be unfair not to mention that the Californian-based quartet have built quite a loyal following with their captivating live performances and strong EP releases.

The band first met at an Evangelical College and whilst Robbers & Cowards never feels like an underhand brainwashing attempt, this debut full-length still manages to conjure up the odd disguised (and sometimes quite obvious) Christian reference. Vocally, Nathan Willet sounds like what would seem like an unlikely hybrid of Jeff Buckley & Jack White, (and dare I say it... the Orson lead singer), yet beyond the glaring influences is an element of refreshing originality. The lyrics writing is mightily impressive at times, covering topical issues such as alcoholism, with what is arguably the highlight of the album in 'We Used To Vacation', death-row/rape in the White Stripes-esque 'Saint John' and Illness/Sickness in the melancholic piano-driven 'Hospital Beds'.

The songs structures often succumb to interesting tempo changes and there are few moments of digestible experimentation, though melodically (and it has to be said) this blues-rock journey is pretty bland throughout. For all of this bands potential, there is nothing here that will immediately knock you for six (not unless your to believe some of the hype of course) and overall, this is a reasonably patchy affair, where moments of brilliance go hand in hand with monotonous tripe. The introductory listen gave me the impression that this record was no better than pushing the boundaries of mediocrity, but after repeated listens Robbers & Cowards begins to grow and finally manages to stumble over the line without ever really touching greatness.

 

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On 15th February 2007 at 15:01 thirties wrote...

It's not strictly anything to do with the review, but why the link (top right) say 'Buy this CD now for 6'... when following the link takes you to an unremarkable 8-99 price tag at Amazon? Crivens, the evil capitalists are infiltrating the system!

 

On 15th February 2007 at 15:26 Dave LMS wrote...

Hiya, good spot! On that Amazon page, slightly lower than the 8.99 tag is the same CD on offer for 6. Amazon quote two prices, one for buying through them directly and one for whether you buy through their marketplace. When developing my script(s) I opted to display the lower of the two...

 

On 15th February 2007 at 15:49 Anonymous 1944 wrote...

everytime you click on the link to amazong Dave Sugden gets 10p.

 

On 15th February 2007 at 16:38 Dave LMS wrote...

How I wish it were true. I clicked on the 8.99 two times earlier... woo, half way to a KitKat Chunky

 
 
 

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