|The War On Drugs — Lost in the Dream (2014)|
The War On Drugs — Lost in the Dream
♦♦ Philadelphia indie rockers inspired by rock traditions from Neil Young to Sonic Youth.
Formed 2005 in Philadelphia, PA
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Album release: March 18, 2014
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
01 Under The Pressure 8:52
02 Red Eyes 4:59
03 Suffering 6:03
04 An Ocean In Between The Waves 7:12
05 Disappearing 6:52
06 Eyes To The Wind 5:56
07 The Haunting Idle 3:08
08 Burning 5:48
09 Lost In The Dream 4:10
10 In Reverse 7:41
℗ 2014 Secretly Canadian
♦♦♦ Adam Granduciel — vocals, guitars, harmonica, keyboards, samplers (2005–present)
♦♦♦ Dave Hartley — bass guitar, electric guitars (2005–present)
♦♦♦ Robbie Bennett — keyboards, piano, guitars (2010–present)
♦♦♦ Patrick Berkery — drums, percussion (2012–present)
♦♦♦ Steven Urgo — drums, percussion, sampler (2010–2012)
♦♦♦ Mike Zanghi — drums, percussion, sampler (2008–2010)
♦♦♦ Kurt Vile — electric guitar (2005–2009)
♦♦♦ Kyle Lloyd — drums
♦♦♦ Charlie Hall — drums, organ
Contemporaries: Eels, Mojave 3, Grant–Lee Phillips
ALBUM REVIEW BY STU LEWIS. PUBLISHED 04 MARCH 2014
♦♦♦♦ Lost in the Dream may eventually turn out to be the point where The War on Drugs escape references to former member and slacker poster–boy Kurt Vile. While hazy, spaced out Americana remains the link, Adam Granduciel’s band have placed classic seventies tendencies ahead of stoner chic.
♦♦♦♦ Building rather nicely on the stomp of 2011 breakthrough Slave Ambient, confident Springsteen–esque rallying calls are added to the likes of Red Eyes, nestling comfortably alongside the feeling that New Jersey’s most famous son would rather enjoy this.
♦♦♦♦ Elsewhere, Under the Pressure and Disappearing echo some of Lindsay Buckingham’s finest guitar work and at times you could close your eyes and hear Granduciel’s voice practically become Paul Simon’s. But despite such references, the listener is constantly reminded that this is an expansive modern rock record, stuffed with big hooks and a crisp production. Improbably, in 2014 the Philadelphians are carving out a niche all of their own. (http://www.theskinny.co.uk/)
♦♦♦♦♦ Lost in the Dream is the third album by Philadelphia band The War on Drugs, but in many ways, it feels like the first. Around the release of the 2011 breakthrough Slave Ambient, Adam Granduciel spent the bulk of two years on the road, touring through progressively larger rock clubs, festival stages and late–night television slots. As these dozen songs shifted and grew beyond what they’d been in the studio, The War on Drugs became a bona fide rock ‘n’ roll band.
♦♦♦♦♦ That essence drives Lost in the Dream, a 10–song set produced by Granduciel and longtime engineer Jeff Zeigler. In the past, Granduciel built the core of songs largely by himself. But these tunes were played and recorded by the group that had solidified so much on the road: Dave Hartley, (his favorite bassist in the world), who had played a bit on The War on Drugs’ 2008 debut Wagonwheel Blues, and pianist Robbie Bennett, a multi–instrumentalist who contributed to Slave Ambient. This unit spent eight months bouncing between a half–dozen different studios that stretched from the mountains of North Carolina to the boroughs of New York City. Only then did Granduciel–the proudly self-professed gearhead, and unrepentant perfectionist–add and subtract, invite guests and retrofit pieces. He sculpted these songs into a musical rescue mission, through and then beyond personal despair and anxiety. Lost In The Dream represents the trials of the trip and the triumphs of its destination.
♦♦♦♦♦ “I wanted there to be a singular voice, but I wanted it to be a project of great friends. Everyone in the band cares about it so much,” he says. “That is the crux of it — growing up, dealing with life, having close friends, helping each other get by. That is what the record's all about.”
♦♦♦♦♦ As such, these tunes reveal a careful and thrilling reinvention of the sound that's become The War on Drugs' trademark. The signature meld of long tones and scattershot layers still stands, with phantom drum machines and organ lines dotting the musical middle distance all across Lost In The Dream. Note the way the keys whisper against the guitar's growl as the tempestuous "An Ocean in Between the Waves" approaches pentecostal heat. Hear how, when a sharp and hard riff cuts into the inescapable chorus of "Red Eyes," synthetic strings and baritone saxophone shape a soft, infinite bed beneath it.
♦♦♦♦♦ But there's a newfound directness to these tunes, too. Granduciel's voice steps out from behind its typical web of effects — louder now, with more experiences to share and more steel from having survived them. He sounds less like a prismatic reflection of a rock bandleader, more like the emboldened actualization of that idea. With its crisp, unencumbered delivery, "Eyes to the Wind" becomes the album's centerpiece and the group's new anthem. This is Granduciel's to–date triumph and the exact moment where Lost In The Dream moves from a tale of confusion to one of resolve. Throughout most of the record, grips loosen and senses fail, memories are mourned and expectations are abandoned. But after the Rolling Thunder lift of "Eyes to the Wind," Granduciel finds new contentment and direction. Anguish sublimates into deliverance. Backed by his bros, Granduciel becomes a preacher in a new pulpit. (http://www.secretlycanadian.com/)
Artist Biography by Mark Deming
♦♦♦♦ Mixing the grand-scale guitar attack of Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine with a melodic sense and lyrical perspective that recalls Bob Dylan roaring down Highway 61, Philadelphia's the War on Drugs are the creation of a pair of Dylan fans, Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile, who met at a party in 2003. After several drinks, Granduciel and Vile discovered their shared fascination with the Bard of Minnesota, and began working on songs together. By 2005, the pair had enough material to launch a proper band, and the War on Drugs were born. With Granduciel and Vile fronting the band, a variety of accompanists drifted in and out of the lineup before the War on Drugs settled on a stable lineup of Granduciel on vocals, guitar, and keyboards; Vile on guitar and vocals; Charlie Hall on organ and drums; Dave Hartley on bass, and Kyle Lloyd on drums and percussion. While the War on Drugs were hesitant to quit their jobs and begin touring extensively, the band became a frequent presence on the Philadelphia music scene and impressed out–of–towners during occasional gigs in New York City. In 2007, the band completed its debut EP, a five–song set called Barrel of Batteries, posted online as a free download. Positive press for both the EP and the group's powerful live shows caught the attention of the noted independent label Secretly Canadian, which signed the band, releasing its first full–length album, Wagonwheel Blues, in June 2008. However, by the end of that year, Vile, Hall, and Lloyd all departed the band, with Vile making a name for himself as a solo artist soon after. Drummer Mike Zanghi joined Granduciel and Hartley, the lineup that made its recorded debut with 2010's mini–album Future Weather. Multi–instrumentalist Robbie Bennett joined the fold for 2011's Slave Ambient, the band's second proper album. While touring Slave Ambient, Granduciel set about writing and recording their third album. Taking nearly two years to complete, Lost in the Dream was scheduled for an early 2014 release.
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Wagonwheel Blues (2008)
Slave Ambient (2011) UK No. 127
Lost in the Dream (2014)
Barrel of Batteries (2007)
Future Weather (2010)
|The War On Drugs — Lost in the Dream (2014)|