Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Youngin' band in the game: The War on Drugs

Flash back to the year 2001: An 18 year-old Dickinson College freshman guitar phenom gets invited to play in a band with like, the three other guys in school who hated String Cheese Incident. We had four or five practices total, never played a show, and no one really gave a fuck because it was the end of the school year anyway. We weren't all that good, which is what happens when you play together four times. That 18-year-old phenom (me) also realized he wasn't so phenomenal, because playing along to Coltrane records doesn't really translate to playing in your first 'rock' band.

Anyway, the lead singer in the band was someone who you could tell was just destined for stardom. Then he started singing, and we all cried at the awfulness. There was this OTHER guitarist, however, who was pretty good.

That guitarist is now fronting what will be the best band to come out of Philly in a hot minute, The War on Drugs.

You're probably saying, "well I can't fucking google THAT"..."War on Drugs Philly band" will do the trick.

I've embedded their first EP in this post. It is about a billion years old (year and a half), but their first full-length is coming out in the spring.

How do you describe the War on Drugs? There's a stock way to do this so far: "is sounds like [sporadically fashionable male songwriter legend] crossed with [late 80s/early 90s shoegazer band]". I've tried to think of alternative way to describe them, but it just doesn't work. If you like the War on Drugs, the rest of your life will be spent reading these types of clippings:

-Like Bruce Springsteen crossed with My Bloody Valentine
-like Tom Petty fronting Swervedriver
-Like Bob Dylan eating lunch with the Cocteau Twins, and at this lunch, they decided to COMBINE THEIR SOUNDS.

Anyway, you can see why this description is appealing. The most important thing of all, however, is that these guys bring the muscle live: Two drummers, a pretty good bassist, and the great Kurt Ville playing the busiest lead guitar since.......uhhh..........*searches record collection for analogy*.....Nas' Illmatic.

In all seriousness, these guys are at once loose and heavy on stage. That's better the typical Philadelphia indie sound, titled "keep the noise level down so our friends can talk to each other at our shows".

So listen to this EP, which is more subdued than they usually sound. There's also a youtube live clip that I tried to embed, but I can't tell whether it was successful because temple's computers are retarded.

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