Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The War On Drugs-Wagonwheel Blues

Philadelphia's the War on Drugs are one of the freshest sounding new bands out there right now, as the 5 piece combine elements of indie rock, shoegaze and alt-country. The band who have been making waves in Philly and the east coast, have recently been signed to Secretly Canadian and are out with their debut LP, Wagonwheel Blues.
If you hear some hints of Dylan in the music it may be because the group was created when Adam Granduciel(vox, guitar) and Kurt Vile (guitar) met at a party back in 2003 and discovered their affection for the singer. Granduciel's vocals and imagery paint a picture of a time gone by and putting the Dylan comparisons aside he is a dynamic frontman and gifted songwriter.
There are plenty of stellar tracks on 'Wagonwheel Blues', from the opener "Arms Like Boulders", which sets the tone early with walls of gangling guitars and harmonica under Granduciel's urgent vocals. "A Needle In Your Eye #16" starts out sounding like Springsteen with it's hammond organ but then jumps into a full fuzz and reverb stomper. There are lighter moments on the album also, like the instumental "Coast Reprise" which feels like it was meant to be played with the windows down, driving down the Pacific Coast Highway as the sun rises.
Two other favorites off 'Wagonwheel Blues' are the frantic "Taking The Farm" which shows the bands spacier indie rock side and the 9 plus minute epic "Show Me The Coast".

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