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Loyalty To Loyalty
Artist: Cold War Kids  
©2008 Downtown Music

I have developed a "love/can't believe" relationship with this disc. The first couple of times, it caught me by surprise. I let it absorb deeply, absolutely embracing their sound, the packaging, and the whole enchilada. Comparatively speaking, the White Stripes come to mind. Political correctness aside, this sounds like dirty blues from a lazy Mexican town. Dirty, disjointed, and sparse at times, "Loyalty To Loyalty" nonetheless is cohesive in striking a fresh nerve. Needless to say, I totally loved it the first few times. I, then, became inundated with other discs to review. Recently, rediscovering this in a pile, I thought, "I can't believe I forgot about this."

The opening track, "Against Privacy," lays down on a dirt trail of somewhat unstructured blues. "Mexican Dogs" follows up with more of the same gritty blues guitar with slight off-key vocals. A keyboard blues romp explodes with intense guitar distortion creating danceable elements on "Every Valley Is Not a Lake" and "Something Is Not Right With Me". Other strong tracks include "Welcome To the Occupation," the sparse "Every Man I Fall For" and "Relief."

The book packaging receives a special nod for quality and creativity. The production is brilliantly mixed and sewn together. If you haven't yet, discover the Cold War Kids. Cigars on a lazy day never tasted so good.

May 2009

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