Sound Advice: Cold War Kids with Middle Kids (March 24)

Indie rockers Cold War Kids head to Madison Theater.

click to enlarge Cold War Kids - Photo: Dan Monick
Photo: Dan Monick
Cold War Kids
The first seven years of Cold War Kids’ tenure found the prolific Southern California Indie Rock/Blues/Soul outfit dropping a trio of full lengths, including their acclaimed/chastised debut, 2004’s Robbers & Cowards, and close to 20 additional EP and single releases, while deflecting reviews that cited Cold War Kids as a Christian band. The next six years of the band’s history were slightly less productive, with only two additional albums, two EPs and a half-dozen singles being added to the band’s catalog.

The good news was that the mixed reviews for 2011’s Mine is Yours were offset by the decidedly better notices for 2013’s Dear Miss Lonelyhearts and 2014’s Hold My Home which, despite more mixed press, featured the single “First,” the band’s highest-charting single to date (No. 1 onBillboard’s Alternative Songs chart). The bad news was that Cold War Kids was clearly a band in turmoil; founding guitarist/vocalist Jonnie Russell left in early 2012 and was replaced by ex-Modest Mouse guitarist Dann Gallucci, while founding drummer Matt Aveiro departed in late 2013, with his spot being taken provisionally by Modest Mouse beatkeeper Joe Plummer, leaving vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Nathan Willett and bassist Matt Maust as the only remaining original members.

After the release of 2014’s Hold My Home, Plummer and touring multi-instrumentalist Matthew Schwartz were both announced as permanent members of Cold War Kids; three months before Hold My Home’s release, Willett and Maust dropped the debut album from their side project, French Style Furs. 

Early last year, the band announced that Gallucci had left the band and that his place would be filled by We Barbarians guitarist David Quon. Last fall, the newly minted lineup recorded the single “Locker Room Talk” for the 30 Days, 30 Songs project organized to protest Donald Trump’s presidential campaign (which has since been expanded to further protest his election), and just last month, Cold War Kids premiered the first single from their imminent sixth album, L.A. Divine, their debut for the venerable Capitol label. The original cold war may have thawed, but Cold War Kids are heating up all over again.

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