The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
The War On Drugs’ Adam Granduciel doesn’t get anywhere near the amount of recognition he deserves. The Philadelphia native’s visionary songwriting over the course of his band’s three albums is the perfect example of a musician single-mindedly ploughing his own furrow, with the finished product benefiting as a consequence.
2011’s Slave Ambient was a momentous and enthralling release which spawned over two years of touring for Granduciel and his three bandmates; out of which sprung this follow-up. Like Slave Ambient, the indie-rockers’ third album repeatedly slips in and out of focus, while maintaining the yearning for forward momentum present in all of his work.
Given the album took two years to record, the pace inevitably shifts. On nine-minute opener ‘Under The Pressure’ six minutes of unashamedly expansive guitar rock evoke images of the open road in the vein of Bob Seger or Jackson Browne before over three minutes of shimmering, hazy instrumental psychedelia leaves the road altogether and drifts along in the breeze. While the chilling instrumental track ‘The Haunting Idle’ has the haziness of a dream sequence in a sci-fi film, before ‘Burning’ picks up the muscular momentum.
You get the feeling that Granduciel could probably bust out a solo with the best of them, but he’s too clever to let something as showy as that detract from the mood and rolling rhythms that make this such an absorbing release from beginning to end.