The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBWiMAu3uII

This track is fantastic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeaDE1magRk

This one hasn't grown on me yet.

yesca, Saturday, 3 June 2017 05:19 (four months ago) Permalink

looking forward to this. "holding on" sounds like he's channeling michael rother

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 3 June 2017 13:14 (four months ago) Permalink

the groove that 'thinking of a place' drops into at the end of the lyrics @ 9:00, i could listen to 10 more minutes of that

ciderpress, Saturday, 3 June 2017 15:29 (four months ago) Permalink

also like how the first 30 seconds of 'holding on' is a microcosm of all the war on drugs-isms

ciderpress, Saturday, 3 June 2017 15:30 (four months ago) Permalink

at first listen, "thinking of a place" feels like one of those long boring breezy jams that there were too many of on the last record. second single is a rocker but it might feel a bit too war on drugs by numbers. i these dudes though, there will surely be a ripper or two on here that i'll love. i've probably listened to "red eyes" about 300 times and it still gets me excited to this day, so they got some magic going on for sure

just another (diamonddave85), Saturday, 3 June 2017 15:41 (four months ago) Permalink

i trust these dudes*

just another (diamonddave85), Saturday, 3 June 2017 15:41 (four months ago) Permalink

Lost in a Dream grew into being my favorite album of all-time, so yeah, kind of looking forward to this.

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Friday, 9 June 2017 01:11 (four months ago) Permalink

the dream, not a dream. Apparently didn't like it that much :)

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Friday, 9 June 2017 01:12 (four months ago) Permalink

man holding on is so good. i love how incongruously upbeat and bouncy it is.

Roberto Spiralli, Friday, 9 June 2017 02:53 (four months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvmEYgFsgyg

Feeling this too.

yesca, Thursday, 20 July 2017 01:33 (two months ago) Permalink

My favourite of the new tracks, I think. I suspect he's found his sweet spot and is refusing to budge, that sweet spot being 1984, with him gazing into the peeling ceiling paint of a haunted school hall.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 20 July 2017 08:33 (two months ago) Permalink

"Thinking of a Place" is the fantastic one!

niels, Thursday, 20 July 2017 08:44 (two months ago) Permalink

love them, but the boring drummer/drum machine...why, oh why?!

nostormo, Thursday, 20 July 2017 14:40 (two months ago) Permalink

I read Moby's (gross) memoir, and he talks about recording Animal Rights with a drum machine, then hiring a session dude to re-record all the tracks, and then he and Moulder deciding to stick with the janky machine to keep things intentionally off-balance.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 20 July 2017 14:44 (two months ago) Permalink

to me the drum machine is a crucial part of the aesthetic

ciderpress, Thursday, 20 July 2017 14:45 (two months ago) Permalink

i'm recycling my tweet but the new song answers the musical question: What if Bob Dylan joined Division Bell-era Pink Floyd?

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 20 July 2017 16:23 (two months ago) Permalink

With or without flashing jewel box light?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 20 July 2017 16:54 (two months ago) Permalink

surely the choicest of all floyd eras

j., Thursday, 20 July 2017 16:54 (two months ago) Permalink

I'd fav that tweet if I could find it

just another (diamonddave85), Thursday, 20 July 2017 17:24 (two months ago) Permalink

says a guy who bought the DB reissue

just another (diamonddave85), Thursday, 20 July 2017 17:25 (two months ago) Permalink

Just listened to most of Division Bell cuz of this thread and JEEZUS is that shit terrible

bunny slopes, Thursday, 20 July 2017 21:10 (two months ago) Permalink

all i can think of with this album title is that stupid kate bush song

just another (diamonddave85), Thursday, 20 July 2017 21:35 (two months ago) Permalink

new song is awesome this is going to be a great album

kinda bummed they're mostly playing arenas at this point, but then again last time I saw them they definitely channeled some Bruce

niels, Friday, 21 July 2017 06:36 (two months ago) Permalink

I kinda like Division Bell and Endless River

I thought the new song was good that Kate Bush song is great btw

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 21 July 2017 11:34 (two months ago) Permalink

that sweet spot being 1984, with him gazing into the peeling ceiling paint of a haunted school hall.

Perfect.

I wonder how many times he's listened to "I'm on Fire"...

yesca, Saturday, 22 July 2017 02:09 (two months ago) Permalink

I like the new songs but the overall hype is exaggerated. They are recycling ideas and it's becoming hard to distinguish between the songs themselves.

nostormo, Friday, 4 August 2017 06:16 (two months ago) Permalink

https://youtu.be/z_qaKlf2TzU

nostormo, Friday, 4 August 2017 06:19 (two months ago) Permalink

I love all of the releases from this album. I can see what some people are saying in that it all has a similar thing to it but I think that's precisely what the group should be delivering at this stage in their output. It's the perfect realization of their sound at this moment in time.

yesca, Sunday, 6 August 2017 16:13 (two months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

sounds like john mcentire produced this and recruited eric claridge to play bowie. awesome in other words

reggie (qualmsley), Wednesday, 23 August 2017 15:25 (one month ago) Permalink

he sounds like John Mayer.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 23 August 2017 15:31 (one month ago) Permalink

really looking forward to this, all the new songs growing on me with every listen

erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 23 August 2017 15:37 (one month ago) Permalink

http://www.thewarondrugs.net/firstlisten/

just another (diamonddave85), Wednesday, 23 August 2017 19:36 (one month ago) Permalink

If there has to be a comparison he sounds more like Bryan Adams

warm winds and clear skies, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 20:45 (one month ago) Permalink

i hear alasdair maclean with a dylan twang

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 24 August 2017 15:30 (one month ago) Permalink

More of the same ... and that's OK.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 25 August 2017 01:53 (one month ago) Permalink

well

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 25 August 2017 02:22 (one month ago) Permalink

i love "strangest thing"

k3vin k., Friday, 25 August 2017 02:28 (one month ago) Permalink

that's good. So is the first track.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 25 August 2017 02:34 (one month ago) Permalink

The first song is glorious

monotony, Friday, 25 August 2017 05:08 (one month ago) Permalink

I do like this, but don't quite understand the guy getting defined as some sort of perfectionist, a trait I keep seeing popping up in profiles. Really? Anxiety about releasing something, or saying it is done, does not make you a perfectionist.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 25 August 2017 12:15 (one month ago) Permalink

he objectively does not sound like John Mayer

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 25 August 2017 13:01 (one month ago) Permalink

what about subjectively

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 25 August 2017 13:03 (one month ago) Permalink

He at best hypothetically sounds like John Mayer.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 25 August 2017 13:25 (one month ago) Permalink

I stand by my Dylan joins 90s Pink Floyd

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 25 August 2017 15:30 (one month ago) Permalink

90s floyd didn't groove like this unfortunately

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 25 August 2017 16:01 (one month ago) Permalink

The band chose an apt name: like most drugs, they're fine in moderation.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 25 August 2017 16:02 (one month ago) Permalink

That's what Dylan brought to Pink Floyd.

In seriousness, the Pitchfork article on their roots in heartland synth is pretty otm.

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 25 August 2017 17:09 (one month ago) Permalink

Reminds me of Street Fighting Years by Simple Minds.

DJI, Friday, 25 August 2017 17:17 (one month ago) Permalink

vocally, granduciel has always reminded me of Petty's vocal on The Waiting if he sang exactly like that on every song

rock and roll tucci coo (voodoo chili), Friday, 25 August 2017 17:55 (one month ago) Permalink

I was impressed by the NPR interview this morning, not the gist of it, per se, but WoD guy himself. I was expecting some mumbly indie dude but he seemed really upbeat and relaxed and happy to be there. Good for him, I say.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 25 August 2017 22:17 (one month ago) Permalink

I cant tell by your review if you hated the album or not Alfred haha... it seems like we're on the same page.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Sunday, 27 August 2017 16:35 (one month ago) Permalink

Three super solid and super hooky tracks (2-4) and the rest is pretty good if not a bit samey (as people have mentioned). It reminds a bit of 'Bloom' by Beach House where the group's current sound has been realized to its maximum potential but another one like it would start to wear on me.

I don't mind the long bits as it's usually hauling off on a section I really enjoy.

yesca, Sunday, 27 August 2017 20:50 (one month ago) Permalink

i like it so far

gbx, Sunday, 27 August 2017 21:52 (one month ago) Permalink

the guitar tone at the end of "Pain", that's what i'm here for

ciderpress, Sunday, 27 August 2017 23:17 (one month ago) Permalink

i think i liked the idea of this band and some individual songs more than any particular album, but i'm pretty in love with this one

J0rdan S., Sunday, 27 August 2017 23:57 (one month ago) Permalink

I love the backgroundness of this band in general, it's like ambient rock. And then the guitar solos pop up and pull you back in (sometimes).

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 28 August 2017 00:24 (one month ago) Permalink

this album is good to listen to whilst smoking w33d

k3vin k., Monday, 28 August 2017 00:28 (one month ago) Permalink

The vocals are too loud for me to tune out while drinking, etc.

Like I wrote, this isn't terrible but the mythmaking already going on with this band/Granduciel is absurd and incommensurate with the modest achievements of this album and the last. I know rock is in dire shape on the charts, but The War on Drugs isn't the well in the desert.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 28 August 2017 00:34 (one month ago) Permalink

I love the backgroundness of this band in general, it's like ambient rock. And then the guitar solos pop up and pull you back in (sometimes).

― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, August 27, 2017 7:24 PM (forty-six minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

same

gbx, Monday, 28 August 2017 01:11 (one month ago) Permalink

feel like this one is just more... misty and enveloping than the last one. i didn't really pay "thinking of a place" much mind as a single but the way the little like sighing harmonica bits are as magnetic as any of the guitar solos is one of my fav things about the record. "nothing to find" is my shit right now, it's funny that he plays a lick from "ocean in between the waves"

J0rdan S., Monday, 28 August 2017 02:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Dire straits was one of the biggest acts on Earth in 1985-1986, maybe the biggest —like huge in continental and Eastern Europe. Yet I do not know of one single noteworthy act that wanted to sound anything like 'em in three decades…until the WoD . It's like no one, not even any alt-country acts, wanted to sound like DS for so long that the one that finally did then became big.

this is very interesting and i've been thinking about it for a bit. this might be the reason that we can't stop talking about who they sound like: because it's a "sound" from the 80s that hasn't been recycled a million times already. the closest similarity i can think of is destroyer's kaputt (and it's probably no coincidence that WoD were the opening act on that tour)

just another (diamonddave85), Monday, 28 August 2017 02:13 (one month ago) Permalink

"in chains" is an amazing dylan-bruce hybrid

k3vin k., Monday, 28 August 2017 03:05 (one month ago) Permalink

Dire Straits, and especially Mark Knopfler's guitar playing, might not have influenced much American or European music, but it was strangely influential to the music of West Africa, especially the Tuareg culture that birthed Tinariwen and Bombino

(this prob belongs in another thread, but too interesting not to share: http://africasacountry.com/2015/03/the-unexpected-popularity-of-dire-straits-in-north-african-tuareg-communities/ )

rock and roll tucci coo (voodoo chili), Monday, 28 August 2017 12:20 (one month ago) Permalink

that's fascinating!

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 28 August 2017 12:23 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah, v interesting read!

niels, Monday, 28 August 2017 13:38 (one month ago) Permalink

I always got more Don Henley or Steve Winwood in the 80s from War on Drugs than Dire Straits. Musically, not vocally. Also Dire Straits lyrics are way more narrative than WoD.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 28 August 2017 14:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Don Henley's late '80s material was often of punishing length too.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 28 August 2017 14:06 (one month ago) Permalink

You're looking at it all wrong: maybe War on Drugs has been mostly influenced by North African nomadic Tuareg rock all along!

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 28 August 2017 14:25 (one month ago) Permalink

his buddy kurt vile (former drug on warrior) for sure was

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_oUt5Pi9jo

(^ that show slayed)

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 28 August 2017 14:36 (one month ago) Permalink

good grief…this song "disappearing" is way way way WAY all up in Knopfler's steez…

veronica moser, Tuesday, 29 August 2017 13:50 (one month ago) Permalink

Had this on repeat the last few days while decorating; I still much prefer Lost In The Dream, but it's slowly growing on me.

Does somewhat feel like if the vocal tracks of several of these songs were swapped over, I would struggle to notice the difference ...

Steve Reich In The Afternoon (Against The 80s), Wednesday, 30 August 2017 20:49 (one month ago) Permalink

the music this draws from hits me in a deeply nostalgic place, really the sounds themselves and i enjoy this band as a child in many ways and therefore understand their ultimate dullness but like them in a way that i'm not inclined to interrogate.

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 30 August 2017 21:09 (one month ago) Permalink

^^this, basically.

gbx, Wednesday, 30 August 2017 22:39 (one month ago) Permalink

I've listened to it three times and I can't remember a single song. It doesn't sound bad tho... I guess it qualifies as ambient rock?

dance cum rituals (Moka), Wednesday, 30 August 2017 22:49 (one month ago) Permalink

^^ perfectly put (xxpost)

alpine static, Wednesday, 30 August 2017 22:59 (one month ago) Permalink

xpost Moka I'd actually been thinking of posting something about them as the classic rock version of trance or ambient stuff

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 31 August 2017 00:09 (one month ago) Permalink

Most of the reviews on rateyourmusic are saying that it's nice music to leave in the background. I found this one funny:

Best New Hold Music
i can't believe the 11 minute song, thinking of a place, was by a decent margin my favorite song on here. i guess poorly written 6 minute songs can feel longer than an 11 minute song.

i liked strangest thing too but, point aside - let's square up about something here. there is no fucking way that any more than 1/4 of the people who attend their concerts know what song they're playing at any given moment if it's not Red Eyes. how the hell would they know? they're trying to force as many songs into the same narrow aesthetics as possible and succeeding quite well at it. i even liked their previous album a bit, but they're clearly not really trying here.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Thursday, 31 August 2017 00:40 (one month ago) Permalink

I suppose opinions will vary depending on what you want and classify as good music. There's people who think being bland or unmemorable is more offensive than well, being willfuly tasteless.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Thursday, 31 August 2017 00:44 (one month ago) Permalink

i quite liked the album before but this one is totally forgettable, just passing me by without any hooks.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 31 August 2017 12:50 (one month ago) Permalink

This album is decent, but I feel like they could've gone in a direction a little bit more interesting than ambient rock. Hate to pull the "first album is the BEST" card, but I feel like Wagonwheel Blues (and parts of Slave Ambient) went places they never really came back to. Like, the two sprawling songs on Wagonwheel Blues (There is No Urgency, Show me the Coast), had a little bit more edge and aggressiveness. Both instrumentals on that album were pretty solid as well (by contrast, every instrumental since has been pretty dull, so it's probably for the best he ditched them on this one).

klonman, Thursday, 31 August 2017 13:36 (one month ago) Permalink

He owes Petty a royalty for Up All Night imo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5BJXwNeKsQ

calstars, Friday, 1 September 2017 01:27 (one month ago) Permalink

i really, really enjoyed this album. i do sort of agree that it's background music and not really memorable but that's OK.

Bee OK, Saturday, 2 September 2017 01:08 (one month ago) Permalink

I was pretty wary of this at first; as the tracks came out I thought he was slipping into parody (if, indeed, he hadn't already). But I've listened a few more time and it's really growing on me. Or maybe it's more accurate to say I'm growing into it. With LITD, it was 'Burning' and 'Eyes to the Wind' that initially affected me, but the (breathing) space of those more ambient later tracks are equally full of steady magic. It's proving the same with the new one: I find myself almost craving the defeat of 'You Don't Have To Go'.

Less poncey version: it's alright this, innit.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Saturday, 2 September 2017 19:19 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I truly love his sound but what a lot of you are saying about this album is how I felt about the previous one (which seemed like a redundant iteration of the classic Slave Ambient). So Im not in a hurry to check this one out.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 18 September 2017 13:48 (one month ago) Permalink

slave ambient is great, a nice reiteration of the classic wagonwheel blues. he's like the feelies and real estate to me at this point where i want rehashings of that perfect jersey/philly sound forever

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 18 September 2017 14:19 (one month ago) Permalink

You are right, reggie "Slave Ambient" is very good, I just listened to it for the first town. That full 80s sound is there already though I think it is even richer on "Lost in the Dream" which I still prefer. That album reminds me more of shoe-gazing. Live they were quite average on the "Dream" tour I thought. I think in the end I prefer the Kurt Vile guitar sound to their keyboard heavy textures.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 18 September 2017 19:34 (one month ago) Permalink

Town=time

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 18 September 2017 19:35 (one month ago) Permalink

This album is the opposite of a grower. I seem to like it less and less each time I put it on. Even the songs I initially thought were great are becoming merely good.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 22 September 2017 19:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i listened through and don't remember a single thing about it

global tetrahedron, Friday, 22 September 2017 19:13 (three weeks ago) Permalink

dream pop

Karl Malone, Friday, 22 September 2017 19:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The new album is rubbish, I totally agree. But I discovered "Slave Ambient" and it is great. They already have created their dense sound and there are tunes as well. It is almost as good as "Lost in the Dream" whrre they refined the formula I'd say.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 22 September 2017 20:06 (three weeks ago) Permalink

'your love is calling my name' is basically perfect, that's about all the WoD i need

global tetrahedron, Friday, 22 September 2017 20:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Cutting 25 minutes out of it would be a start. Doesn't need to be 66 minutes long.

michaellambert, Friday, 22 September 2017 20:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

In Chains is an amazing song for knocking out the last mile of a punishing summertime run, right up there among classics of the genre like Edge of Seventeen

erry red flag (f. hazel), Friday, 22 September 2017 21:00 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Hate to pull the "first album is the BEST" card, but I feel like Wagonwheel Blues (and parts of Slave Ambient) went places they never really came back to.

Yes!

kornrulez6969, Friday, 22 September 2017 21:31 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Saw them play last night in Austin, it was a pretty great show! They played as many songs from Lost in the Dream as from A Deeper Understanding. I was hoping they'd take a song like Pain or In Chains and stretch it out a bunch... they only really seemed to get loose with Under the Pressure. But they definitely aren't playing the same set night after night... I stuck around because people said the night before they played Thinking of a Place as the encore, but at my show they did a cover of Tangled Up in Blue!

erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 2 October 2017 16:23 (two weeks ago) Permalink

wow, was it good?

niels, Monday, 2 October 2017 16:46 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i enjoy this band as a child in many ways and therefore understand their ultimate dullness but like them in a way that i'm not inclined to interrogate.

this nails it for me too

ciderpress, Monday, 2 October 2017 16:50 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the line

"I resist what I cannot change" seems kind of banal yet deep, it really resonates w/me for some reason

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 2 October 2017 19:44 (two weeks ago) Permalink

The Dylan cover was pretty good, yeah! I'm not too familiar with the original, but TWOD version was pretty rollicking. Apparently in the past they've covered Jethro Tull? Would have liked to have heard that.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 2 October 2017 20:09 (two weeks ago) Permalink


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