Cold War Kids - 'New Age Norms 1'

7/10

During the band's US tour back in 2018, Cold War Kids were enjoying the constant output of Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music collective and finding themselves oddly inspired by what they were hearing. While not necessarily taking influence from the sound of those records, the idea of knocking out new material on a weekly basis and keeping each release short and under ten tracks felt like a bold and refreshing way to digest new music. So rather than return with a simple LP like before, they decided on a trilogy of three eight-track collections that could provide a short, sharp burst of ideas over the next year. So now we have 'New Age Norms 1', the first of their new releases that seems to waste no time to making itself heard.

While the group's sound has always been forged in a blues-rock aesthetic, this new record seems them embrace the indie-pop sound from start to finish. Taking notable inspirations from acts like Phoenix and Foster The People, 'New Age Norms 1' is filled to the brim with vibrant and uplifting pop stompers that shows just how much of a sharp turn they are making with this trilogy. Coming in at just over half an hour in length, the release is a fast-paced and energetic full-length that manages to leave you wanting more by the end of each and every track.

While it is good to keep in mind that this is the first of three albums, 'New Age Norms 1' does an excellent job of wetting our appetite but with no word yet on its follow-up, seems like we will be waiting a tad too long to fill our boots again. As an appetiser, it does a sensational job, but it feels like we need need the next piece sooner rather than later.

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