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A Very Promising Debut
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..