Whenever a long-running act finally releases a self-titled album, there’s a certain taking stock of everything that has come before & where they are now. Though only frontman Nathan Willett and bassist Matt Maust remain from the start of Cold War Kids, it is time for them to take it all in with Cold War Kids (note: that’s the two of them on the cover).
It’s all exemplified best with the opener/single “Double Life” (QRO review), strong driving alt-rock with catch that Cold War Kids have long done very well. If that’s the highpoint, well, so be it (they’re not the first band whose single/opener outshine the later deep cuts), as there’s also a good deal of the band’s soulful side, such as the following “Run Away With Me” and the big, confessional uplift of “Blame”. Indeed, on the back half, the Kids hew more to that, in slower style.
Ten studio albums
and coming on twenty years in, Cold War Kids aren’t going to redefine
themselves, but do get a chance to embrace themselves and what they’ve done
with Cold War Kids.