Cold War Kids
I'm still not sure what to make of this band. This is the second single I've heard by them and whilst I can appreciate the delicate nature of the piano-led bittersweet ballad, I also get the uneasy feeling that after Keane and Coldplay's recent successes, particularly in America, that A&R men all round the country have been looking for a similar band to back. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but can mean a band can get signed merely for ticking all the boxes, rather than on pure merit.
The tortured vocals and lyrics about 'joy and misery' comes across on the one hand as slightly pretentious and forced, but on the other hand the subject is obviously very evocative, and I get the feeling that he wants to come across as genuine. Unfortunately his lyrics aren't really much cop.
The live B-sides show a different side to the band. Much more soulful and challenging, and the singer's voice really comes into its own. There's also an 8 minute track here, where a vast, sprawling musical tapestry works to good effect. However, the best track on this four-track single is a Sam Cooke cover. It's easy to see why they are getting a lot of press at the minute, but personally I found there to be a lack of depth and engaging lyrics, which is critical for a band of this nature. The talent and potential is there, it's just whether this can be realised in future recordings.