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4.5 out of 5 stars21
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 27 June 2007
`Robbers & Cowards', Cold War Kids' debut album is a heady mix of angular indie rock, stomping piano blues, deep-South drawl and Strokes-style New York attitude. Sounds like a mess, but the sheer enthusiasm here carries it through.

Lyrically, the album deals with alcoholism, street fights and life in hospitals and prisons, giving it a Southern USA feeling. The band plays with great energy and are not afraid to use sudden lurches in tempo and pace which work well.

Particular stand-out tracks are the opening two, especially `Hang Me Out to Dry' with its echoing guitar motif and strident vocals, but the record is strong throughout.

On the downside, Nathan Williett's vocals, whilst full of passion and power, do grate occasionally as they are high-pitched and a little atonal, but don't let this put you off as `Robbers & Cowards' is a very impressive debut..
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on 7 December 2006
this album is, in a word, fantastic. there is something of a touch of genius's ever so different from all the current bands out there who are trying to sound new whilst just sounding the same as everyone else. I would perhaps say that this band are the artists that the likes of Kasabian, Razorlight, Editors, etc wished they could be.
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on 26 February 2007
I'd heard the single Hang Me Up To Dry (hauntingly beautiful!) and immediately pounced and bought the album the day it came out and I've not been able to stop listening to it!!!It really,really draws me in to listen to it! What with a few disappointing follow-up albums in the last few months with my fave bands(you know who you are-shame!) it's good to hear a debut album where I honestly don't feel like skipping forward track after track to get to the very few 'good ones'!

The startling thing about the album is that each song appears to grab and throw you into a story set in (?rural) america with v basic,evocative thundering drums, pianos, loud bass and the fragile and sometimes unreachable high notes reached by the lead singer, Nathan Willett: you can imagine yourself there!!From the all-too-true view of the patient in Hospital Beds to the recovering alcoholic on the opener We Used To Vacation-this is powerful stuff...

Theres a bit of americana/Jack White/stripped down but powerful- even film noir-about the whole album. Apart from the above mentioned standout (and classic) tracks, highlights must include Saint John with its stop-start brilliance and raw drums:the jangliness of Rubidoux: the ride through a rockabilly start to not so rockabilly end of Hair Down.

I wouldn't be surprised if this was a sleeper hit of the really deserves to be!
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on 3 January 2007
I really like this album. 'Cold War Kids' are that little bit different to other bands around. Some stuff might sound similar to other bands, but then their music goes off at a tangent. I first heard 'CWK' on 'MTV2' with 'We used to vacation'which is excellent as is 'Hang me up to dry'. Similar to underrated US band 'Modest Mouse' in places and a commercial poppy version of 'Mars Volta' in places too, if that was ever possible.

I particular like the more unusual 'Saint John' & 'Hospital beds'.

This is a really good album which I recommend highly. A bit bluesy, a bit rocky & with just that little bit of soul.A great keyboard player,good bassist & drummer.'Nathan Willett' is a great vocalist too.

Listen to the samplers & then check out this album. You won't be disappointed!
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`Robbers and Cowards' is a good rock n roll album from Cold War Kids and from the album opener `We Used To Vacation' you get a good feel of what is on offer here. Solid riffs, catchy song writing and slightly discordant solos. Stand out tracks are `Hang Me Up To Dry' which has a great bass riff intro and `Passing The Hat' which has some great drums and lyrics. The be honest this album starts to sound a little samey by the end and the vocals don't have much variety to them, but if you after a fun, easy going light rock album then this is worth taking a look at. It gets better with repeated listening but overall this is good but not great.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 2 August 2007
I decided to buy this album after hearing the excllent Hang Me Up To Dry and the rest of the album is just as brilliant. They offer a unique sound of alternative rock which for me is very welcome in an period where much indie sounds very similar.

Other standout tracks are: Hospital Beds, We Used To Vacation, We Used To Vacation, Hair Down and Passing The Hat.

For me, this was one of the best albums i have heard for a few years. It is so unique and their live performances echo the brilliance of this album.

If you are thinking of buying this album, just buy it! You will be glad you did.
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on 7 December 2009
I first started to know about Cold War Kids after hearing Hang Me Up To Dry which I thought was superb, and then I heard Hospital Beds which I assumed was off a later album, looking it up I then realised they were off the same album and so an instant purchase.

The lead singer has a great voice and the band has a sound that they have been playing clubs for years. Great debut will check out later albums
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on 5 February 2007
[...] - this is one the best albums I've heard in the last couple of years! Every track is powerful and interesting and brilliant. Very simple musically but the ridiculously raw guitar and slightly out of tune piano along with all sorts of bangs and clangs can't help but provoke some sort of emotion. BUY THIS NOW!
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on 27 March 2013
I first heard 'hang me out to dry' on Facebook and instantly loved its clever use of lyrics and random piano sets. The rest of the album is equally clever but some of the songs just sound like noise.
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on 28 February 2015
So glad I caught a performance of this band for two songs. Immediately bought the album and it's a gem. Insightful lyrics, literary and good stories within great tunes.
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