The name of the band is interesting but unfortunately this release, Hold My Home, is not. I do not know much about Cold War Kids but I was expecting something different, perhaps an experimental outing with politics thrown in for good measure.
Instead what I have is a competent album containing eleven songs that you can all but file under soft rock. It’s all a little bit disappointing, even more so for the fact that this is not a debut album where mistakes can be made and worked on. This is their fifth studio album.
It’s not that it is a terrible album. A few songs are good. The opening song, ‘All This Could Be Yours’, has an anthemic feel about it. ‘Harold Bloom’ is quite a beautiful affair with evocative vocals and engaging lyrics. It’s probably the best song on the album, and if a few more tracks would have followed in a similar vein I could have filed it under something else.
The closing track, ‘Hear My Baby Call’, is a huge part of the problem. It is the soundtrack to teen angst American dramas. Cold War Kids are American so perhaps they are catering for that kind of market, but it does nothing for this English girl.
I think the lesson learned here is if you are going to give your band a powerful name you need more than mediocre tracks to hold you up. I could, of course, be missing the point. Perhaps they are being ironic. They appear to have a large following so there are people out there embracing their music.
After several listens, and trust me it was several listens, I am left wondering what is trying to be achieved with this release. It leaves me cold. And for a Californian band that have been going since 2004, albeit with changes to their line up, it’s kind of unforgivable.
Hold My Home is out now via Downtown/SonyRED.