The War on Drugs The War on DrugsFuture Weather
SECRETLY CANADIAN (SC227, 12” + digital)
Apart from appearing in talks about the marvellous Kristian Matsson (The Tallest Man On Earth), Bob Dylan peeps around the corner almost every time people mention The War On Drugs. Of their first album, it was said it was the perfect mix between the Duluth troubadour and an Animal Collective-like trip, and with this revealing title the Philly combo make it perfectly clear that they have a lot of the first. Because the voice of Adam Granduciel takes us to the past rather than to the future (as Animal Collective do). Almost on his own, Granduciel has been in charge of making this mini album of eight tracks in which we can see a decisive change the band’s idiosyncrasies. One of the keys to understanding the change is, of course, the absence on this release of Kurt Vile, still a group member but presently more focussed on his solo career. Likewise, the fact that Vile is inclined towards an ever more telluric and less rootsy kind of rock makes the connections between the two projects and the very open future they’re heading towards very clear indeed.
Always with the pedals on point, classic but never academic, and sober and warlike to the core, “Future Weather” doesn’t sound less nervous yet more atmospheric and blurred than their debut album. The lyrics, focussed on friendship and loyalty, could be another key clue in accordance to what we said above. However, maybe that would be too much theorising about a kind of music that sound so pure and crystalline. As lysergic as “Wagonwheel Blues” (2008) channelled in a boldly different way, the sound of “Future Weather” is pure mercury, toxic and brilliant. It tastes like the best cosmic Amercian music and shows a very serene and sovereign band that could go anywhere from here. There are ambient transitions of the Arthur Russell school ( “Missiles Reprise”), hymns that could easily match Arcade Fire ( “Baby Missiles”, one of the best tracks) and tunes that could feel too stretched ( “The History Of Plastic”) but which leave all the doors open for a next album that should be with us soon.
The War On Drugs-Coming Through
The War On Drugs "Baby Missiles"