The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream
Three albums in and The War On Drugs have fine-tuned their sound; you can’t imagine they’ll make a more concentrated album. With founding members Adam Granduciel and Dave Hartley again refreshing their constantly rotating lineup, it’s surprising how cohesive this sounds. Although not a massive step forward from their previous two albums, there is something more pure about the experience - even if they do take a lead from former guitarist Kurt Vile (most tracks last for over five minutes).
Winding a weaving path through some of the tropes of the 80s, Lost In The Dream is downright retro. Echoes of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen abound before the merest hint of U2 on the first note of ‘Disappearing’ crystallises the feel. It’s very, very heavy on the reverb; tracks meander onwards long after the vocals have concluded. The stall is set early: ‘Under The Pressure’ is almost nine minutes, three of which are all about the reverb. ‘Suffering’ is a tune to relax to, with lazy guitar and snail’s pace beat. ‘An Ocean In Between The Waves’ wouldn’t be out of place on Miami Vice while the atmospheric ‘The Haunting Idle’ and long, rambling ‘In Reverse’ are dreamlike. As a paean to the decade of Ronald Reagan and rock of the soft and hair variety it works - but the lengthy running time and lack of variety lessens the impact somewhat.