Cold War Kids - Hold My Home - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Cold War Kids - Hold My Home

by Nathan Fidler Rating:7.5 Release Date:2014-10-21

The one thing which Cold War Kids have struggled with on their last two albums is the balance between their early storytelling gems which engrossed listeners and the bombast which comes with a group trying to crack the stadium circuit. Hold My Home would appear to be a huge step for them in terms of getting past that struggle.

Why it has taken their label six extra months to give this album a UK release is something better left for another time, but in an age where you can easily import music from other countries it seems like a daft move. The album itself is a much punchier collection of songs than their previous two albums, though it should be said that they did seem to be picking up again.

The lost, lonely and fallible characters of the early work are once again laid bare: “On the front lawn/ sprinklers turn on/ It’s not your house/ Where’d you go wrong?” is the tell-tale line which indicates ‘First’ is about someone in a preventable spiral. What’s different now, however, is that they also have the soaring chorus to go with it, giving them a shot at the big time.

Consistency is the thing they must tackle next. The first three songs on this album ‘All This Could Be Yours’, ‘Hot Coals’, and the aforementioned ‘First’ should see them garner sales and plaudits (and rightly so), but the rest of the album is middling at best.

‘Hotel Anywhere’ has Nathan Willett singing about the inspirations found living in hotel rooms, but it’s ruined by a constantly droning soundscape in the background, while ‘Flower Drum Song’ has a mean verse but the chorus doesn’t rest on the ears as easily as they would expect. From the very back of the pack comes ‘Hear My Baby Call’, which recalls perfectly the charm which this band held initially and has a fantastically simple, falsetto chorus.

No one said it would be easy for Cold War Kids to pick themselves up and have another go at finding the magic formula, and you can’t fault them for effort. It makes everything which felt phoned-in on the last two albums seem more like a practice run. Intelligence and catchy tunes, this album feels like the cusp of something big.

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