Trying to describe The War on Drugs' sound is like a rock n roll recipe....2 parts Dylan, a splash of Springsteen, and a pinch of Petty all mixed together with some 90's garage rock reverb. Slave Ambient is the follow up LP to their 2008 debut Wagonwheel Blues and is the 1st minus former guitar player Kurt Vile along with a few of the other original members. While Vile is riding a wave of praise for his recent solo album The War on Drugs haven't missed a beat and have put out one of the better rock albums of 2011.
This foursome from Philly fills (yeah, say that one ten times fast!) your ears with music that your dad would have listened to on his 8-track while wiping down the ol' Mustang before homecoming. It could also have soundtracked the life of your older brother rebelling and full of teenage angst fueled by grunge and punk and pretending he doesn't watch nor like Beverly Hills 90210 (the original....the birth of sideburns). A true throwback sound that transverses generations of musical awesomeness.
While the Dylan influence is most-prevalent throughout singer Adam Granduciel's style, you will inevitably hear some Pettyishness now and again. When his inner Boss comes out to play there are no constraints. Check out "Baby Missiles" below and see if you can get through it without imagining a video where a young Courtney Cox gets pulled on stage to dance around during the live performance. Speaking of live performance, I highly recommend seeing them, they put on a most excellent show....unlike The Shitty Beetles.
*Note - if you don't get any of the references above watch some VH1 recaps of the 80's and 90's or go rent Dazed and Confused and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. If you don't get the Shitty Beetles one I will have lost all faith in the world....