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Cold War Kids: Behave Yourself (Album Review)

Though it’s only 14 minutes long, Behave Yourself goes a long way toward showing what Cold War Kids can do with their music. Their second album, Loyalty to Loyalty, was filled with nearly as many disappointments as innovations, but this EP focuses that album’s dark, soulful direction into four impressive songs. “Audience of One” begins Behave Yourself on a surprisingly smooth note, bringing Cold War Kids’ sound, especially Nathan Willett’s vocals, closer to the Jeff Buckley-tinged side of their music than their feisty rock. “Sermons” gets even more soulful and feels appropriately gospel-inspired, and while the bright pop of “Coffee Spoon” and “Santa Ana Winds” doesn’t exactly rock, these songs bring an energy that contrasts nicely with the EP’s other tracks. Streamlined, confident, and cohesive, Behave Yourself finds Cold War Kids getting their groove back.