Cold War Kids Divulge Their Top Guilty Pleasure Tracks

Matthew Aveiro, drums. 1. Gwen Stefani, “Hollaback Girl.” Apart from being a Gwen Stefani song, the lyrics are the hardest thing to swallow: “This shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.” 2. Three 6 Mafia, “Stay Fly.” I feel least guilty about this one. There are some weak lines, but the guilt I feel is mostly from my pleasure seeming ironic. 3. Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights.” The synth part is so good it nearly redeems the awkward rhymes and lyrics.

Nathan Willett, lead vocals, piano, guitar. 4. Tori Amos, “Silent All These Years.” She’s no PJ, but when I was in junior high and this song played on Kiss FM, it was dark. 5. Bouncing Souls, “East Side Mags.” A punk song about riding BMX bikes through New York City. So really, I have nothing to feel guilty about. 6. Misfits, “Hybrid Moments.” The opening line is, “If you’re gonna scream, scream with me.” The band that is mostly responsible for Hot Topic culture is still one of the greatest.

Jonathan Russell, guitar, vocals, percussion. 7. Missy Elliott’s “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).” At a school dance in 1998, this extremely simple bass line couldn’t help but make any pimple-faced kid dance. But, alas, it says, “Beep beep, who got the keys to my jeep?” 8. Timbaland’s “Give It to Me.” Any song that has Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado being “in the club” and “giving it to me” is rough. Groove is spot-on. Lyrics are deplorable. 9. Blues Traveler, “Hook.” The band’s name hurts to begin with. Plus, the hook of this song is about “the hook bringing you back.” Simultaneously ridiculous and very witty in its being self-referential.

Matt Maust, bass guitar. 10. Guns N’ Roses, “Garden of Eden.” I liked how you could sing along with the video, what with the lyrics at the bottom of the screen and all. 11. Sublime, “Same in the End.” None of the other guys picked a Long Beach band for this list. 12. Bright Eyes, “Let’s Not Shit Ourselves.” The “beamish game hen” played this for me one early morning on repeat going home in my car after an improv session of recording all night from a studio that we sort of had a key for, and it just stuck. The length probably helps it stay in your head.

Cold War Kids are on tour in support of their new album, Loyalty to Loyalty.

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