In 2006, Cold War Kids generated deserved hype with its debut Robbers and Cowards, featuring standout tracks “We Used To Vacation” and “Hang Me Up To Dry.” For some reason – maybe everyone born between 1947 and 1991 really wanted to relate with a band seemingly named after them – that hype has lingered to the group’s latest release, Mine Is Yours.
At its best, Cold War Kids is a loud band with a hard-on for The White Stripes and fronted by a lead singer with a rather effeminate voice. At its worst, Cold War Kids is a band of 20-somethings trying way too hard to fulfill the last word in the band’s name. And at its medium, Cold War Kids is the album Mine Is Yours.
Cold War Kids are pretty reliant on hooks, and while there are a few good ones here, the majority of them sound phoned-in. It’s style that requires waiting for the chorus while sitting through the verses and hoping the lead singer doesn’t say something stupid. Too late – “I was sitting ‘round like a zombie, feeding my own face.” Huh?
The lyrics can seem like an over-zealous stretch at times and the music is pretty uninspired throughout. Past Cold War Kids albums typically had a redeemable measure or two of music to give the listener reason to remain a listener. It’s hard to find those here. The band has degenerated into a bland version of a band that was already low on originality, even when it hits the high notes.
These guys don’t sound like they’re trying too hard. But they don’t really sound like they’re trying, either.