Cold War Kids release mediocre album

William de Lannoy

California’s Cold War Kids made a huge splash on the blogosphere in 2006 due to their extensive touring and unique sound.

This popularity resulted in “Robbers & Cowards,” an album that undersold but earned the Kids a fairly large and devoted following.

With “Loyalty to Loyalty,” Cold War Kids are looking to escape the fate of many similar blog darlings and make a break into the mainstream.

Unfortunately, Nathan Willett and company fall a little short.

The band’s catchy beats and swampy hooks are intact, but Willett’s voice and lyrics often come off as annoying and forced.

Jonnie Russell’s guitar and Matt Maust’s bass give songs like “Mexican Dogs” and “Relief” a bluesy swagger that Willett’s voice just doesn’t always synch up with.

When it does all fit together, the results are songs like “Something Is Not Right With Me,” a track that sounds like a kicked-up “Hang Me Out To Dry,” the most memorable song from “Robbers & Cowards.”

It is a shame that the chemistry from those two standout songs doesn’t carry over to the rest of “Loyalty to Loyalty.”

Other album highlights include “Golden Gate Jumpers,” a lazy tale of attempted suicide, and “Every Man I Fall For,” where Willett successfully swaps genders and sings from a woman’s perspective.

Ultimately, “Loyalty to Loyalty” is a sophomore slump album that will keep fans of the band’s past work occupied but not satisfied.

The album is in stores now.