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Monday, November 19, 2007

Last Night: ColdWarKids Make Warfield All Hot and Bothered

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2007 at 7:00 AM


Better Than: Jordan Catalano

Download: Some ColdWarKids streams.

2007's new indie rock darlings ColdWarKids provided some serious make-out music and proved that they had the chops to match their hype during a heavily attended, highly entertaining concert at the SF Weekly Warfield Saturday, November 17.

An entire high school's worth of suburban teenage females poured out of nearby

Civic Center BART for the all-ages show that started at 8 p.m with Richard Swift. They added to the existing bumper crowd of women at the show, pushing the gender split into the 50-50 zone -- always a good sign for a burgeoning new band: avid, available evangelistas. And it's easy to see why.

Their 2006 Downtown Records hit Robbers and Cowards has at least five great songs on it, from "Robbers" to "Hang Me Up To Dry" to "Passing the Hat" to "Hospital Beds", but they reach a whole new level played live. Between the piano and the skinny tight jeans, you'd think you were watching the Walkmen. But the boys told the young girls back in June at BFD that "we got more soul than any of these guys." And it's true. It's the soul that sets this Fullerton, CA. boys free.

Cold War Kids bring an R&B sensibility to indie rock, courtesy of the prominent piano, and the story-telling, concrete lyrics of Nathan Willett. Most of their riffs are simple blues box chords, dressed up and taken out on the town. They sing of hospital beds, convicted criminals and other classic down-on-your-luck themes. The first song they ever wrote was called "Don't Love Your Love Fly Away" for chrissake.

And it doesn't hurt that all the guys, even the bassist, would be annointed "hot" in paces like Danville. Willett soaked panties when he turned the lights off, turned his flashlight on, and hopped into the crowd to sing "Robbers."

"We can see your mouths. We know who knows all the lyrics," Willett said, and the most active mouths came from women up in the balcony.

Seriously, I must've seen more people making out at this show than I did at all of BFD and Rock the Bells combined. It was gross. ColdWarKids is like the date act of 2007. Some one call the music director for the O.C. or The Hills.

From technical standpoint, the band thrives on a sassy bassist who feels like the soul of the whole act, as most evident in "Hang Me Up To Dry", backed by their drummer Matt Aveiro, who sits high above his kit and angles down hard. Willett also plays the piano and guitar, his vocal register places him in the 95th percentile of talent. Ditto for the hyepractive guitarist Jonnie Russell.

The quartet has been touring relentlessly all year and they sound like seasoned pros at this point. The only thing that can stop them at this point is themselves.

Critic's NoteBook

Personal Bias: Inland Empire roots, and Downtown Records fan

Random Detail: Even their manager Brett looked hot.

By the way: ColdWarKids are back in New York Nov. 30 and Dec. 1

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David Downs


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