On this album, Cold War Kids employ former Modest Mouse members Joe Plummer (drums) and Dann Gallucci (guitar/producer), along with touring keyboardist, Matthew Schwartz. Right from the get go, the new additions make their presence known, with Plummer pounding the drums with unwavering ferocity throughout, Gallucci tearing at the mix with ripping riffs and Schwartz taking alternating supporting and starring roles on many songs. Over all the tracks are, of course, the unmistakable vocals of Willet who, in tandem with co-founder and bassist Matt Maust, maintain the essence of the band's sound.
In conjunction with more typical contagious indie compositions such as single "All This Could Be Yours" and "Hot Coals," the group ventures into '80s synth pop ("Hotel Anywhere"), slow organ blues ("Harold Bloom") and pop guitar progressions reminiscent of the Cars' early years ("Go Quietly"). Following the successful formula that has served them well for the past decade, the Cold War Kids have reinvigorated their sound with a new lineup, elbow grease and a knack for telling interesting stories in a unique voice. (Downtown)