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INDIE ROCK

The Kids are all right

September 23, 2008
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Cold War Kids

Loyalty to Loyalty (Downtown)

ESSENTIAL "Something Is Not Right With Me"

On the track "Golden Gate Jumpers," Cold War Kids singer Nathan Willett coaxes a suicidal woman to step away from the rail. The song stands out on the band's sophomore album, "Loyalty to Loyalty," for its imagery, but also because, on this new effort, the indie gospel-rockers seem to be the ones standing on the precipice. From the melancholy empathy of "Every Man I Fall For," to the aching dirge of "On the Night My Love Broke Through," the band marinates in bad feeling rather than reaching for raucous redemption as it did on its debut. "Loyalty" is more low-key than its predecessor and less focused. There's no doubt the Kids are all right, in their own way - "Something Is Not Right With Me" is infectiously manic, and the drum-and-fuzz-bass of "Relief" will make concert halls vibrate with restrained rock energy - but perhaps the band's indie crown weighs heavily these days, because the Cold War Kids sound as if they'd like to turn blue. [Judy Coleman]

Cold War Kids play at the Paradise Rock Club on Oct. 14.

The Kids

are all right

Haden taps his rambling roots

Another pick-up line you've already heard

Bishop gets the blues with friends

This is how you do soul

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