warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

'Hold My Home' By The Cold War Kids: Album Review

Emilie Dylewski |
October 28, 2014 | 1:13 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Indie-rock veterans and Southern California natives the Cold War Kids dropped their fifth full length studio album, "Hold My Home" on Oct. 21.

While the unmistakable vocals of Nathan Willett are prominent, there are few ways this album could be more distinct from their previous sound. The masters of cacophony’s past hits “We Used to Vacation” and “Hang Me Up to Dry” from their first album, "Robbers and Cowards," are not-so-subtly pushed aside by the new indie-pop LP.  

The band's evolution follows similar shifts seen by other indie-rock groups such as The Kooks and the Arctic Monkeys as the industry’s mainstream grows to include a massive fan base for indie-pop. A sure sign of the transition was noted at a recent Arctic Monkeys concert, where the crowd was mistakable for Justin Bieber fans.

READ MORE: Cold War Kids' Nathan Willett: The Exclusive Interview By Neon Tommy

Popularity – and the near guarantee of another tour – requires less of a compromise on sound than ever and many gladly accept the challenge of pop while aiming to preserve their musical integrity. The pressure on older bands like the Cold War Kids to maintain relevancy and, as Willett mentions, to “get past that several year hump,” makes the temptation even greater.

With this in mind, the new album understandably reinvents CWK under a pop standard, and in this light, the album succeeds. For example, “Go Quietly” gently builds on a smooth hook with Willet crooning “Tonight decides what tomorrow knows.” “First” – perhaps confusingly the second track of the album – in true Taylor Swift fashion, starts off with rhyming romantics: “Cheated and lied, broken so bad/You made a vow, never get mad.” Hating aside, the album is an accessible look into the indie-rock genre.

If expecting the likes of the last four albums, "Hold My Home" will be a letdown. The opening track “All This Could Be Yours” sets the tone for the reception of the album – and maybe, dramatically, the direction of the genre for indie-rock die-hards as it opens “I have heard your sad luck misfortune speech.” For the first time in the impressively long life of this band, the album can be described, in full form, as catchy.

Nonetheless, the group’s incredible talent on and off stage make their upcoming show at The Regent Theatre on November 20 a must-see.

Reach Staff Reporter Emilie Dylewski here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.