The War On Drugs return with a new album and a new line up.
“Lost In A Dream”, the band’s third album, continues in a similar “pop drama” fashion to their previous album, “Slave Ambient;” only this time they’ve dropped a dollop of nostalgia (with a strong Springsteen / Dire Straits influence) and also dropped more band members… this time drummer Patrick Berkley. A sense of a “less is more” theme is clear and it works well.
The opening track “Under The Pressure” is full of rich delay and creates a lifting, dreamy atmosphere; the classic driving, pelting drums however keep the track firmly grounded. Adam Granduciel’s opening lyric “When I come down it’s easy, like an arrival of a new day” sounds like a quote from Hunter S Thompson’s Raoul Duke, this compliments the track’s “spacey” atmosphere.
“Suffering” takes a different approach. The band ditches the belting for something with a slower tempo. Adam Granduciel’s vocals become soft and give the track a delicate, clean feel. The echoing guitar licks give off a Fleetwood Mac vibe and are a great accompaniment to the vocals on the chorus. “Suffering” is a great example the band’s “less is more” structure mentioned earlier. Despite working with very little, they have managed to create a hugely impressionable ballad.
The War On Drugs show that they are keen and able to progress, but at the same time take a step back at remember where their influences are.