Robbers & Cowards
Label: [PIAS] Cooperative
Cold War Kids effortlessly jump the fences separating endearing pop and off-kilter indie rock, sonically name checking everyone from Harry Nilsson to the White Stripes in the process. The Fullerton, Calif., group's much anticipated debut lives up to the hype, with prodigiously realized songs-within-songs, genuinely surprising shifts in tempo and theme and, always a favorite, crazy guitar freakouts. Cold War Kids may be newcomers, but they sure don't sound like it.