Before it all went stratospheric for the War on Drugs they made excellent albums such as Slave Ambient. The vibe was still 70s America - Springsteen, Creedence and that lot but the fi was lo-er, the production more rinky-dink and the wave a bit chiller. Imagine your Dad's record collection as rewired by an East River Pipe and Flying Saucer Attack collaboration.
Vinyl Double LP £15.49 SC190LP
2LP on Secretly Canadian.
- Includes download code
CD £10.99 SC190CD
CD on Secretly Canadian (single disc edition).
CD £11.99 SC190DLX
Ltd 2CD on Secretly Canadian.
The words 'Bruce Springsteen' were spat at me when handed this CD this morning so I had it down as the type of heavily blue collar parody rock peddled by the likes of Hold Steady and Gaslight Anthem but thankfully this updating on your classic rock sound is only part of the sonic maelstrom created by this Philadelphia native. Instead I'm reminded a little of the lo-mid-fi glacial pop of fellow loner East River Pipe as if he's suddenly had access to the record collection of a mustachioed 1970's American dad. So somewhere in the mix you can hear the dripping down of the likes of Creedence, Suicide, The Band, Bob Dylan shot through though with a kind of post shoegaze heat haze so the production is littered with feedback, sonic trickery and kraut like grooves. Sometimes it recalls Bruce Springsteen as produced by David Sitek, at others The Go-Betweens or Blitzen Trapper. It starts impressively with a series of strong songs, getting the balance perfectly right between traditional songwriting and an edgy lo-fi production but about 6 songs in I'm starting to wear slightly, the vocal lines starting to become a little over familiar and songs drifting to a droney conclusion rather than bursting forth in colour. Only repeated listens will reveal whether there are hidden depths to the initially impressive blast.
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- Slave Ambient by The War On Drugs
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