Cold War Kids - Tuxedo's EP


For me, Cold War Kids are the type of band that you only ever listen to 4 or 5 songs of. Granted, that got boosted by 1 when Dear Miss Loneleyhearts came out and the addictive energy of miracle mile fought it’s way on to the list, but delving into their discography feels a bit like sifting through a lot of chaff before locating the wheat.

So on hearing that a new EP was to be released so soon after their last album, I wasn’t exactly rushing to add it to my collection because the Tuxedos EP is first and foremost a service to the fans. Stripped back and cut down the EP is a glorified single release for Tuxedos, assisted by 4 previously unheard tracks that fit the theme of the title track, and a new approach at Bottled Affection.

Tuxedos stays unchanged from it’s original form, that of a nonchalant and leisurely march through the Rhythm’n’blues lite that Cold War Kids have made their name out of.

This is a theme that’s closely followed through to the first of the new tracks – Aeon. You have to stay vigilant to catch the transition. And by now you should have worked out that this is more the Nathan Willet EP than anything else, with songs stripped back to a skeleton, made up of piano keys, Willet’s shaking just-in-key vocals and a single guitar.

Romance Languages #2 is the stand-out track for the EP and shows how great a minimalist song can be with only a chugging muted guitar, some harmonised vocals and an organ. Think The Suburbs-era Arcade Fire with a real earworm of a hook in support. It’s simplistic and repetitive but hugely addictive.

As a fan service EP, it’s a nice little extra, made up of songs saved from the cutting room floor, which you can add to Dear Miss Lonelyhearts as your an unofficial Deluxe Edition. But there’s a slight whiff of pomposity where it feels the band aim for a suffering romantic gravitas and clip the edge of the target.

By Mikey Rush