You may be one of the privileged few considering shelling out the $40 – $70 necessary to attend the annual Rites of Spring Music Festival on the campus of Vanderbilt University this weekend. This year’s schedule boasts such names as Ben Harper & Relentless7, Passion Pit, and that infectious French band, Phoenix, who probably didn’t convince you to buy a 2010 Cadillac SRX, but did rouse enough interest with their single “1901” for you to check out their 2009 record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Preceding Phoenix on Friday night’s line-up is a band you may not have heard much from in a while, but the truth is they are still hard at work.After a series of independently released EPs, Cold War Kids emerged in 2006 with their first full-length studio release Robbers & Cowards. The So-Cal based four-piece essentially exploded onto the indie scene, and two years of constant touring and festival appearances followed, until their sophomore album Loyalty to Loyalty dropped in mid 2008. Though none of the singles from Loyalty to Loyalty garnered as much attention as “Hang Me Up to Dry” had two years prior, the guys thankfully did not humor the wishes of bassist Matt Maust’s parents to pack it up and fall back on their college degrees.
2009 brought forth a live EP, produced at Fingerprints record store in Long Beach, and released across the nation on Record Store Day. With the exception of “Expensive Tastes,” At Fingerprints consisted completely of tracks from their most recent LP. However, a little-known four song EP, Behave Yourself, was released online in late December, and physically hit stores this January, marking the first release of new material in over a year. Opening with “Audience,” a dance-jam riddled with imagery, and wrapping up with their trademark gospel infusion in “Sermons,” Behave Yourself satisfies the thirst of even the most parched CWK fanatic in a mere fifteen minutes.
The moral of this convoluted tale is that should you find yourself on the Vanderbilt Alumni Lawn sometime around 8:10 PM tonight, open your ears and steal a listen of what the Cold War Kids have to offer. You’ll no doubt hear a track or two from Behave Yourself, as well as bits and pieces of what these raucous minstrels have been working on in the studio. Rites of Spring is one of only a handful of announced tour dates for the foursome in the 2010 calendar year. They are currently dedicating themselves to hashing out new material at a recording studio in Nashville, so hopefully we’ll soon be dropping the needle on yet another Cold War Kids LP.