Cold War Kids' "Louder Than Ever" Is the Band's Most Conventional Effort to Date

Chris Kornelis
Artist: Cold War Kids

Track: "Louder Than Ever"

Album: Mine Is Yours, Due Jan. 25

Rating (Skip, Stream, Buy): Skip (But there is a free download)

With a name like "Louder Than Ever," you've either got to bring the heaviest jam of your career or the lightest. Cold War Kids fall somewhere in the middle, delivering a meandering single that's unnecessarily restrained and devoid of the creative approach to indie-rock that's made them so intriguing.

Cold War Kids are made their mark for being the manic, neatly-dressed kids who shook maracas and thumped on pianos like their lives depended on it. "Louder Than Ever" is CWC at their least urgent, their least engaged. They employ none of their signature intensity and ingenuity that made previous standouts like "We Used to Vacation" and "Every Valley Is Not a Lake" such soulful counterpoint to their contemporaries so comfortable in the middle. They used to sound like they had no patience of indie rock 101.

But, hey it is just the first single, which, as we've been reminded of late, is not necessarily a harbinger of things to come. If you'd asked me a couple months ago what Black Mountain was going to bring with Wilderness Heart, I'd have said their ripping single, The Hair Song, pointed toward the sharpest material of their careers. Instead they gave us their most disposable.

We'll see.

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