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Cold War Kids coming up hot
by Krystal Bick
Apr 22, 2009 | 902 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo - Cold War Kids play in Lake Tahoe on Sunday night.
Courtesy Photo - Cold War Kids play in Lake Tahoe on Sunday night.
What happens when you mix a little bit of soul with a little bit of indie rock and a dash of Stalin?

For the California-based indie rock band, Cold War Kids, the combination makes good things happen, in a very short amount of time.

The four-man group of 20-something rockers has headlined its own shows, both nationally and internationally. They have also played alongside the likes of other rising alternative bands Two Gallants, Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah and The White Stripes, to name a few.

But remember, they’ve only been at it since 2004.

And now, as part of their current tour, the Cold War Kids will be checking Lake Tahoe off their list as they take the stage at the Crystal Bay Casino Sunday night.

Perhaps best known for their chart topping singles “Hang Me Up to Dry” (2006) and “Something is Not Right with Me,” (2008) the Kids definitely have something else going on to attract attention.

Explaining their namesake in a recent Rolling Stone interview, bassist Matt Maust said that ten years before during a brief picnic in Budapest’s Memento Park, when he and his brother were backpacking through Europe, they actually sat at the feet of one of the statutes of Stalin.

Further adding that most people in their 20s today have lived through the Cold War, Maust developed a nickname for an entire generation — the Cold War Kids — and it’s stuck with him ever since.

Today, the group consists of Maust, who is the lead singer, Nathan Willett, who is the piano and guitar player, guitarist Jonnie Russell and drummer Matt Averio. The group has seven EPs to date, with two full length albums under its belt.

Their first several EPs back in 2005 introduced the Kids to success early, with the blogging community raving over their work. It wasn’t long before Downtown Records signed them on for a record deal, leading to a booming album debut with “Robbers and Cowards” (2006).

“Robbers and Cowards” reached the 173 spot in U.S. Billboard charts and number 35 in the United Kingdom. Hits from this record like “Hang Me Up to Dry” reached as far as the 26th spot on Billboard’s U.S. Modern Rock charts, garnering the boys some distinction in an already indie-infiltrated industry.

With their bluesy riffs and oftentimes darker and more provocative lyrics, it wasn’t surprising either that the Cold War Kids were on to something. After releasing their second record “Loyalty to Loyalty” (2008), Rolling Stone magazine took notice. In 2008 Rolling Stone writer Kevin O’Donnell said that the album’s “rough-hewn guitar play and skeletal simplicity recall Tom Waits’ ‘Swordfishtrombones.’ ”

From that record, the hit “Something is Not Right With Me” would hit the 39th spot on Billboard’s U.S. Modern Rock charts.

And by the way things are going for them right now, there’s plenty more where that came from.

The show begins at 9 p.m. on Sunday with opening act Crystal Antlers. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the show and can be purchased online at
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