Reagan babies, missile fears, and international blues. Cold War Kids began in the Fall of '04 with jangly guitar, hand claps, and a Harmony amp in a storage room atop Mulberry Street restaurant in Fullerton, CA. For the first sessions between four friends, having instruments was not as important as heavy stomping, chanting and laughter. Clanging on heat pipes, thumping on plywood walls. Hollering into tape recorders. Slipping and swaying into alleyways and juke joints of yesteryear. Dreaming the American dust bowl and British maritime. On the roof the sound and feeling was cultivated and burned, built and hallowed out, painted and stripped to the primer.
Using songs of Dylan, Billie Holiday, and the Velvet Underground as a road map, they listen to their tiny inner voice to manipulate and structure their style with honesty.
Since then, Cold War Kids have self released 3 six song EP's ("Mulberry Street," "Up in Rags," and "With our Wallets Full") on Monarchy Music. And toured relentlessly. Leaping and stumbling across stages around the country, at the end of each night they continue to deliver a raw performance and a soaking wet shirt.
Lyrically, Cold War Kids write stories about human experience in orchards, hotel rooms, laundromats and churches, sea ports and school halls; characters that are funny and serious at the same time, like J.D. Salinger or "Peanuts." Whether it's the man poaching bills from the collection plate during Sunday masses or the little prodigy who is miserable hearing his mother poking him to admire the Grand Canyon out the station wagon's window, these are everyday wretched people trying their damnedest to live well while teetering between
despair, complacency and joy.
Much like Blue Note Artists of the '50's, the music of the group walks hand in hand with it's graphic design. Bass player Matt Maust is responsible for creating the visual aesthetic by constantly documenting the band, friends, strangers, and situations both on tour and at home. The design facet is implemented through gallery shows, artistic web design, and supplement design books coinciding with music releases.
Ultimately, Cold War Kids intent is to present themselves not just as four musicians, but as an expanding artistic community in which everyone is invited to take part.