(Photo Credit: Allen Alcantara)
Advance Review - Cold War Kids: New Age Norms 2 (August 21, 2020)
Long Beach, California's own Cold War Kids are back with New Age Norms 2, the second-part in their trilogy album the group has been working on. New Age Norms 2 is an 8 song album that delivers a punch right from the get go. "Who's Gonna Love Me Now" features ripping vocals from Nathan Willett and the band's signature mix of alt and pop fusion on the melody. When paired with "Obsession" Cold War Kids have a one-two punch that is part funky, methodical, and extremely well-paced.
"You Already Know" follows-up with high-paced action, that features familiar elements of funk, pop, and electronic music. It's all highlighted by Willet's vocals and the call and response backing vocals throughout the track. Skipping around a bit, another favorite I had on the album was "Regret Regret" a song about heartbreak, who's melody betrays it. The melody is light, funky, and sizzling, but the lyrics show someone full of remorse for actions in the past. Willett delivers this pain perfectly from a vocal stand point. However, my favorite track on the album by far is "Somewhere", it has the perfect build that's highlighted by Joe Plummer's fantastic percussion work. It's pops right off the album.
Overall, New Age Norms 2 is quite different from it's predecessor (check out our review of New Age Norms 1 here!). While they both tie indie with other genres, it's the genres that the band chooses that are different here. New Age Norms 2 infuses elements of electronic-pop and funk into an eclectic indie mix, whereas New Age Norms 1 focused more heavily on soul and pop sensibilities. What the two releases do have in common is Willett's efforts on vocals. He does vocal somersaults on both albums, it's truly something to behold.
Rating - 5/5