Critics billed Cold War Kids’ 2006 debut, Robbers & Cowards, as “original and timeless” (Los Angeles Times) and “`an` enjoyable listen” (People). I hated it. Not because it lacked musical scope — far from it — but because frontman Nathan Willett’s high-pitched whining made it near impossible for me to get through the album in one listen.
Sadly, the California quartet’s follow-up is much the same as Robbers – brilliant, beautifully infused keyboards, drum beats, and guitar riffs marred by Willett’s acquired-taste voice. When Willett drops the theatrics for more conventional vocals – as is the case with standout tracks “Golden Gate Jumpers,” “Dreams Old Men Dream,” and “I’ve Seen Enough” – Loyalty to Loyalty is a listen to behold. But when he eschews a tolerable pitch in favor of his preferred near-yelp, musically redeemable tracks like “Avalanche in B” and “Mexican Dogs” can’t reach their full potential.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.