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Music: The War on Drugs

By Brian Baker · November 1st, 2011 · CityBeat Recommends
soundadvice_the_war_on_drugs_photo_graham_tolbertPhoto: Graham Tolbert
The best music incorporates the influences of the past with the energy and sensibility of the present to make the sound of the future. Frontman/visionary Adam Granduciel must have inherently known this when he began assembling the brilliant components of The War on Drugs. 

The Philadelphia quartet (Granduciel, multi-instrumentalists Robbie Bennett and Dave Hartley and drummer Mike Zanghi) established their unique course on 2008’s Wagonwheel Blues, where soaring Synth Pop melded with expansive Space Rock and was perfectly grounded and centered by a Classic Rock/Folk Pop perspective, like Spiritualized re-imagined as a Byrds tribute.

The War on Drugs’ debut was surprising and satisfying, but it was merely an introduction to the band’s power and range, as evidenced by its amazing 2011 sophomore album, Slave Ambient.

Utilizing the populist anthemics of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen and the Folk simplicity of Bob Dylan coupled with the aggressive Ambient texturalism of Brian Eno and the big-beat Synth Pop of New Order, The War on Drugs invested Slave Ambient with the swelling power of its disparate influences and the enduring strength of its translational abilities.

The War on Drugs plays Mayday Friday with Carter Tanton and Purling Hiss. Go here to read Brian Baker's full Sound Advice.



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