Pop-Rock

Since their modest beginnings as four guys who drove around southern California with their gear in their cars, practicing wherever they could steal a space, Cold War Kids have always exhibited two qualities in their music: intense passion and emotional truth.

Lithe and percussive, roaring and tuneful, the soul-punk on the Long Beach quartet’s first two albums “Robbers and Cowards” (2006) and “Loyalty to Loyalty” (2008) emerged like miniature gothic novels. Singer Nathan Willett channelled taut dramas of men on the edge, families in peril, and crises of faith. The musical literature of these four tight-knit friends — Willett, Jonnie Russell, Matt Maust and Matt Aveiro — was a sound that augured something bigger, something more universal.