Robbers & Cowards

Robbers & Cowards

4.7 11
by Cold War Kids
     
 

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Having shaped their sound and imagery with three EPs for Monarchy Music and a demanding touring schedule, it's no surprise that Cold War Kids have more presence on their first full-length, Robbers & Cowards, than many bands do on their debut albums. Their evocative, oddly soulful vignettes contain shades of Spoon's sardonic, piano-driven rock; the insistent,

Overview

Having shaped their sound and imagery with three EPs for Monarchy Music and a demanding touring schedule, it's no surprise that Cold War Kids have more presence on their first full-length, Robbers & Cowards, than many bands do on their debut albums. Their evocative, oddly soulful vignettes contain shades of Spoon's sardonic, piano-driven rock; the insistent, jittery feel of One Time Bells-era French Kicks; the poetic, rumpled ramblings of the Walkmen; the stripped-down bluesiness of the White Stripes; and in their more theatrical moments, a ghostly trace of Jeff Buckley, as well as touches of folk and gospel. That's not to say that Cold War Kids are derivative -- it's more like they take inspiration in classic sounds (indie or otherwise) and tweak them to their own designs. And even if there's more comforting, built-in familiarity with a touch of freshness in their music than radical originality, there's something to be said for familiarity, especially when it's done this well. For fans of the band's EPs, Robbers & Cowards will sound familiar for another reason: it takes most of its songs from Up in Rags and With Our Wallets Full, giving them a slightly fuller, cleaner sound. Fortunately, this only enhances the band's most distinctive assets: Nathan Willett's high-pitched, nasal, vibrato-heavy voice, a love it or hate it instrument that gives Cold War Kids a huge part of their character, and their way with storytelling and lyrics with a bookish eye and ear for detail. "We Used to Vacation," a dry-eyed account of alcoholism's effect on a family, and "Passing the Hat," a tale of stealing from the collection plate at church that sounds like it could be from an indie rock musical about the Great Depression, combine both to great effect, but it's the genuine warmth in "Hospital Beds" that makes it the finest moment on an exciting, accomplished debut album.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/13/2008
Label:
V2 Japan
UPC:
4520227015329
catalogNumber:
316
Rank:
245366

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Robbers & Cowards 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i pretty much like everysong on this CD. it is fantastic
Guest More than 1 year ago
This definatly the best album i've listened to in a long, long time!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the coolest albums in my collection now. It may just be THE coolest. I can actually put a visual to each of the songs. These guys truly captured my attention with their style and their lyrics. I think I'm ready for their sophomore album a bit too soon!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this CD! Hang me up to dry has got to be one of my favorite songs of all time. Except, there is this line in vacation ("i promised to my wife") that always makes me think of the "im not gonna start a fight" in a backstreet boys or Nsync song back in the early 00's.
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