Cold War Kids, ‘Dear Miss Lonelyhearts’
If you want to know what it sounds like for a band to go in several different directions at once and actually make that philosophy work for a good chunk of an album, look no further than the fourth studio release from this California rock quartet. While “Lonelyhearts,” the group’s first album with new guitarist Dann Gallucci, offers some of the atmospheric, blues-tinged sound that made its name, it also beats to a distinctly electronic pulse. There are also rivers of synths, spectral grooves, and keening vocals gently swirling in fits of forward propulsion and melancholy stasis. It also makes grand, often successful stabs at sing-to-the-rafters arena rock anthems that call to mind bands like the Killers or even Keane. At least seven of the 10 tracks score immediately, with the waltz-time drama of “Tuxedos” conjuring the weariness, despair, and relief of canceled nuptials, and the title track, a gorgeous dirge with swoony falsetto flourishes and the sage observation that “the good times never call when you wait by the phone,” standing tallest. (Out Tuesday)
Cold War Kids performs at Paradise Rock Club on April 10.