Odd that Cold War Kids would take their name from an era defined by Iron Curtain isolationism, especially since their music seems to be informed by such a wide breadth of influences: Hazy Brit-pop and post-punk are the most obvious touchstones, but there are traces of New Wave and Americana in their sound as well. They’re from Fullerton, California, but you’d never guess that from the vocals — singer Nathan Willet is as comfortable in Jack White’s fake English accent as he is in Jeff Buckley’s wounded castrato.
This month sees the release of With Our Wallets Full and Up in Rags, a pair of EPs the band is putting out simultaneously. This is a bold move for a bunch of unsigned newcomers, but Cold War Kids’ confidence is a big part of what makes them so appealing. Their sound could have been a sonic patchwork (they cite Bob Dylan, U2, and Belle and Sebastian as influences), but the band’s remarkable assuredness makes it all pretty seamless. And they probably won’t be unsigned for very much longer. After a strong showing at SXSW, Cold War Kids have set off a minor war among interested record labels, one that hopefully won’t result in an arms race or the fall of a world superpower.
Cold War Kids tour dates:
3/31, San Francisco, CA (Noise Pop)* 4/4, Hollywood, CA (The Troubador) * 4/5, San Diego, CA (The Casbah) * 4/6, Phoenix, AZ (The Modified) * 4/7, Tuscon, AZ (The Solar Culture) * 4/10, Lubbock, TX (Winchester Slaughterhouse) * 4/11, Denton, TX (Rubber Gloves) * 4/12, Austin, TX (Emo’s) * 4/13, Houston, TX (Walters) * 4/14, New Orleans, LA (The Republic) * 4/15, Birmingham, AL (The Nick) 4/16, Gainesville, FL (Common Grounds) * 4/17, Orlando, FL (Will’s Pub) * 4/18, Tampa, FL (Tampa Transitions Skate Park) * 4/19, St. Augustine, FL (Cafï¿½ Eleven) * 4/20, Columbia, SC (New Brookland Tavern) * 4/21, Chapel Hill, NC (Wetlands Dancehall) * 4/24, New York, NY (The Bowery Ballroom) * 4/26, Waltham, MA (Chomodley’s) * 4/27, Cambridge, MA (Middle East Upstairs) 4/28, Annandale, NY (SMOG @ Bard College) * 4/29, Bennington, VT (Downcaf) * 4/30, Providence, RI (The Living Room) * 5/5, Chicago, IL (Empty Bottle) *
*w/ Two Gallants