Cold War Kids

Long Beach's Cold War Kids have been taking something of a critical beating since the January release of their third album, Mine Is Yours. In an all too familiar scenario, erstwhile indie heroes supposedly betray their loyalists by filing off the rough edges and going mainstream. In the Kids' case, producer Jacquire King of Modest Mouse and Kings of Leon fame was hired to coax the band's sound arena-ward, at least according to conspiracy theorists. Mine's bad news is that some of the Kids' quirks, particularly the jagged, desert-like emotional landscapes and punky skittishness, have indeed been smoothed over. What's good is that King has deftly polished what's left, introduced fresh sonic facets that make the sound punchier—and hookier and shinier—while not seriously compromising the band's inherent swagger. It's definitely a new direction, but still worthwhile. With A Lull. 18+. (Photo by Sarah Hadley)
Thu., March 10, 6 p.m., 2011

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