One of the most exciting live music events for Edinburgh in 2015, will be the appearance of “The War Against Drugs” at the Usher Hall on 28th of February. I’m embarrassed to say I’m a little bit late to this party, but thanks to a friend playing me some of the excellent new album “Lost In The Dream”, I’m now greatly enjoying discovering this outstanding band and their back catalogue.
“The War On Drugs” are an American rock band fronted by guitarist/vocalist Adam Granduciel. Formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2005. They have since gone onto release 4 albums “Wagonwheel Blues” in 2008 then “Future Weather” in 2010 followed by “Slave Ambient” in 2011 and “Lost in the Dream” in March 2014.
“Lost In The Dream” pays homage to the classic 70’s American rock sound with the listener being reminded of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan or Tom Petty, particularly in the vocal style. However Adam Granduciel manages to carve his own vocal identity on the songs with a heartfelt and sometimes passionately fragile delivery.
This is an album loaded with memorable hook lines, especially the songs “Under The Pressure” and “Red Eyes” which worm themselves into your brain quickly. However this is also an album that is willing to take risks and successfully gifts the listener with songs, some lasting well over 6 minutes long with a prog rock influence which are never boring or overblown.
The outstanding moment for me in this sea of treasure is a song called “Disappearing”. After listening to this album for a couple of weeks, this song still gives me shivers with the exquisite guitar playing, synthesizer textures and brief but despairing lyrics.
It will be interesting to see how the material transfers from record to the live stage. I personally can’t wait until I see them on the 28th of February and hope to see you there.