In The War On Drugs we have a fresh face that already sounds like an old friend. Bringing a dose of the West Coast to the hard streets of Philadelphia, their songs recall the '80s guitar army of Sonic Youth with the captivating lyrics and vocal stylings of Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen. Songwriter Adam Granduciel (vocals/guitar) leads the attack with his lyrical paintings of his own American landscape. Walls of guitar - acoustic, electric, and twelve-string - douse each track of this debut album, threatening to cast the band into space rock territory, but the melodies and immediately identifiable lyrics soldier on to keep these songs from blasting into the esoteric beyond. With Wagonwheel Blues, Granduciel joins a distinct set of songwriters in a new golden era of polished-yet-subcultural underground music. The War On Drugs have that unmistakable singularity that comes along only so often, with the spirit of invention and playfulness lying earnestly at the forefront of their creative process.
(SC167 released: 06/19/08)