By Shannon B.

Just as a bong hit tingles the senses, the vibrant buzz surrounding the Cold War Kids propels their erupting popularity, as evidenced by a sold out performance last Friday, when these California kids packed Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a hot set of head bopping tunes from their recently released first full-length album, Robbers and Cowards.

Even from the back of the cubbyhole sized club, the action on stage could not be obscured as the Cold War Kids rocked heartily, side to side and up and down. Solid rocking soon gave way to the piano, creating a saloon-esque vibe, then launched into more bluesy guitar for a truly multi-dimensional experience. In addition, the narrative quality of the lyrics allows the listener to play voyeur into the lives of various characters whose stories unfold in four minute vignettes.

The boys wrapped their Union Hall set with fan favorite “Hang Me Up to Dry,” which highlights singer Nathan Willett’s soulful croon. A brief chat with adorable Mr. Willett post-show revealed that the Cold War Kids will return to Union Hall for a Halloween night romp onstage, an informal show followed by a November 1st gig in New York’s CMJ Music Festival. Possible costume ideas for the band include a four-man horse. Meanwhile, this reporter plans to pop into Ricky’s costume shop to purchase a slutty mental patient outfit, then head back to Brooklyn to discover what Halloween delights the Cold War Kids will reveal from behind the Iron Curtain.