Early last year, the L.A. indie rock quartet Cold War Kids made a bunch of new fans -- yet perhaps also lost some grumbly old ones -- with its third album, "Mine Is Yours." The mature, autumnal record had an ear for big pop melodies, gentle sonic experiments and lyrical details about the trials of domestic life, and was helmed by noted producer Jacquire King.
Even more has changed for the band in the interim. The group has parted ways with founding guitarist Jonathan Russell, whose spare single-string leads were a defining part of its sound. Former Modest Mouse guitarist Dann Gallucci will take his place (and, seeing as Gallucci was replaced in his old band by Johnny Marr, we're glad he found a good new musical home).
The new lineup is giving away its new two-track single, "Minimum Day," on its website to introduce itself and announce a new three-night residency tour with stops in Portland, Ore., Seattle and San Francisco (no L.A. dates for now). The A-side is a bit trashier than "Mine Is Yours," with a strong mod rock and garage influence; the B-side is even more interesting, putting singer Nathan Willett's slurry harmonies atop the echoing vocals and hissing drum machines of Suicide, before brightening up at the song's end. And for those not still in a post-holiday hangover, you can nab Cold War Kids' Christmas single, "Where Would We Be w/o Christmas?," for free as well.
-- August Brown
Photo: Cold War Kids. Credit: Fresh & Clean Media.