Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Say Yes To This War On Drugs

I am telling you to say yes to this War on Drugs. To most of us baby boomers, the war on drugs was a na├»ve and failed policy that encouraged people to “just say no” to drugs during the Reagan years. The War on Drugs I am encouraging you to check out is an amazing band out of Philadelphia. They have made a steady incline into the business the past few years and have just released a critically acclaimed new album.

The War on Drugs is fronted by Adam Granduciel.  Adam grew up in California before moving to Philadelphia in 2003. He, like many other artists, starting recording his own music on a tape machine from his bedroom. He had a thing for Dylan’s music and when he got to Philly he met Kurt Vile, who was also into Dylan. They hit it off and Adam joined Kurt’s band The Violators. Adam was still making his own music as War on Drugs. In 2005 together they released an EP as War on Drugs and did a tour together. The band was signed to the Secretly Canadian label and put out their first full length titled Wagonwheel Blues.

It received some good press and they toured America and Europe promoting it. Kurt left after this tour to promote his own solo career, so Adam became the sole front person. Because Adam tends to be a perfectionist the band went through some personnel changes. Adam then recorded Slave Ambient which was released in 2011. This is the album I was happily introduced to this band. They toured this album to more critical acclaim.

Adam's career was now to the point where he could do music full time. He then started the process of recording the next album. Because of his perfectionist tendencies he would record a song, re-record it a number of times, trash it and go back to the first recording of it. He was feeling a lot of pressure and during this time his life took a bit of a tailspin personally. His long term relationship ended, he was feeling insecure, depressed, and couldn't move forward. He gave up drugs, smoking and changed his diet which all made him feel better. Adam then made a decision to become more democratic and involve his current band to help him out in the studio putting together this new album. This was a great choice and they in March released Lost in a Dream. Pitchfork calls this album “psychedelia-smeared country rock”. I couldn't agree more. Please enjoy the new single "Red Eyes"

I think you have just heard some of his influences like Dylan, Petty, and Springsteen.I have never had the opportunity to see this band live but I have heard great things about their shows. If you liked this one, you should also check out "Under the Pressure" which is an 8:00 reverb drenched guitar anthem.  I hope this gives you reason to say "yes" to this War on Drugs.