The War on Drugs is an American indie rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 2005. The band consists of Adam Granduciel (vocals, guitar), David Hartley (bass), Robbie Bennett (keyboards), Charlie Hall (drums), Jon Natchez (saxophone) andAnthony LaMarca (guitar).
Founded by close collaborators Granduciel and Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs released their debut studio album, Wagonwheel Blues, in 2008. Vile departed shortly after its release to focus on his solo career. The band’s second studio album Slave Ambient was released in 2011 to critical acclaim and extensive touring.
Written and recorded following extensive touring and a period of loneliness and depression for primary songwriter Granduciel, the band’s third album, Lost in the Dream, was released in 2014 to widespread critical acclaim and increased exposure. Previous collaborator Charlie Hall joined the band as its full-time drummer during the recording process, with saxophonist Jon Natchez and additional guitarist Anthony LaMarca accompanying the band for its world tour.
Under The Pressure—-Beginning like every favorite 80’s record I have ever owned, the voice is introduced and the disappointment never comes. This is lush and full of emotion…not only in the voice…but transferred into the music as well. There is a sadness that is perfectly combined with a joy…a full, textured song that is so pleasant…it makes me want to cry.
Red Eyes—-Beginning again with that jangly guitar that reminds me of the greatest 80’s indie bands, this is so damn pleasant I’m not sure what to do with myself…the mystical and smoky sound leaves no doubt in my mind why it was everyone’s pick for 2014…that voice…oh that voice…and the mood…the atmosphere…the sadness…but the under lying joy…this is heaven…or the closet thing to perfection I have heard in a very long time…
Suffering—-A bit more sedate at the onset, this still has a pleasing taste to my pallet. The voice…reminds me of Jim James from My Morning Jacket…the music on this track is minimal but so damn lulling. I just lose myself in the release…such as the title would suggest….this is full of joy…pain…angst and hysteria…all is a moment…..then it changes….I love music!
An Ocean Between The Waves—-With a nice hyper beat at the onset, the band continues to deliver the trademark sound from the onset…the atmosphere is palatable. I can fee; such pain in the voice…but so many other emotions as well…this is a release that makes you feel…want and long for things you want to feel. This is remarkable…I could never ask for more from one release.
Disappearing—-Beginning with an almost Roxy Music sound at the onset, the quiet yet emotive voice brings everything to the front of your brain….you feel pain…longing and the need to be better than you are all at the same time…this release is one of those rare things that makes you fel so much..it is hard to listen to often…cause you realize all you are not!
Eyes To The Wind—-Man….I hate to beat a dead horse…but this is The Smiths….The Cure…The La’s and My Morning Jacket all rolled into one huge release…I can’t begin to explain the emotions that these lyrics and pleasant muscianship awakens in me….I haven’t felt this alive in years…theres a little Dylan in here too!!!!
The Haunting Idle—-Haunting is a good word for the title of this song…the emotions are deep with the expression of the music from the very onset…talk about a journey…this is just simply remarkable. I think only Morrissey can inspire such feelings in me….this is literally incredible…a mysterious journey through sounds that inspire emotions!
Burning—-Returning to that remarkable jangly sound that seems to fit the voice so well, this is another great fit on this release…although I find myself at this point craving a little brighter sound…I don’t suppose that will happen. This is still soothing and pleasant despite the curse of ‘sameness’ that it inspires. Pretty damn wonderful.
Lost In The Dream—-The title track of the release makes me realize the name of the release…it is indeen a track you can become lost in…the voice reminds me of so many others…but remains remarkably its own despite all of that. This is so damn pleasant…it makes me want to scream with joy…cry with despair…and start the whole damn thing all over again. This is a release that will last for a very long time…
In Reverse—-Ending this remarkable release much as it began….you are reminded that you have been on one mans journey through pain…discovery…joy and sadness….MY GOD….I love music that makes me feel….this CD makes me feel something different everytime I hear it…that spells one thing….CLASSIC!
***** out of 5 [!!!!!]