The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient

The War On Drugs - Slave Ambient

The War On Drugs - Slave Ambient

Do you know what I need after multiple reviews of obscure European electronic music? Indie. I’m not in the mood for anything angular, experimental or complicated. I just want a cocktail of simplistic Americana indie rock which could be the soundtrack to laid off coal workers. The War On Drugs could be the next hip electro clash band but they are not. The War On Drugs is blue collared America at its simplest and its most docile.  Thank the Lord Jesus for small things.


The War On Drugs was popular before but recently became a back story to former guitarist Kurt Vile’s breakout record Smoke Ring For My Halo.  Vile’s solo efforts was nothing more than a continuation of a project started at the same time as the band’s debut record Wagonwheel Blues. Kurt Vile’s Smoke Ring For My Halo will probably soar to the end of the year while his original band, while not to blame, will most likely be left behind.


It should be noted that there existed the War On Drugs with Kurt Vile as well as The War On Drugs without Kurt Vile. The core of The War On Drugs rests with Adam Granduciel who not only founded the band but provides the core of the writing. The band, in the past, was noted for their overt Americana influences which not entirely new was pleasant and ultimately refreshing.  Granduciel returns in 2011 for the release of Slave Ambient which maybe the bands best record — if anyone else is around to listen.


Much like the band’s earlier records, the Slave ambient opens up the heartland with its Springsteen influences mixed in with echoes of folk Americana. Unlike their debut or even the 2008 follow up EP Barrel Of Batteries, the lo-fi production is lifted for a clean more airy atmosphere. The notes hit sharper and Granduciel’s voice hits with the type of bravo necessary. And unlike the band’s 2010 post Vile EP Future Weather, there isn’t a sense of hopeless desolation. If anyone disagrees with me try listening to “The History Of Plastic” and have it not ruin your entire day.  Do not get me wrong, Slave Ambient has its share of downtrodden pride but there exists a glimmer of optimism. It is this break in moodiness that propels The Slave Ambient upwards and offers a fine indie rock record in a world where indie rock is almost dead.


The War On Drugs have crafted a fine release with Slave Ambient and make a strong case for a band that can exist in the wake of a departed member’s breakout success.  With all of the complicated electronic music now in my playlist, it is nice to kick back with a glass of bourbon and enjoy the sounds of indie rock played by salt of the earth musicians. The Slave Ambient should be checked out people not because of its relation to other musician’s but because it is a damn fine record.


The War On Drugs Slave Ambient Tracklist:
Best Night
I Was There
Your Love Is Calling My Name
The Animator
Come To The City
Come For It
It’s Your Destiny
City Reprise
Baby Missiles

The War On Drugs - Slave Ambient, reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2011-07-29T11:20:13-07:00 rating 3.4 out of 5

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