The War on Drugs, 'Slave Ambient' (Secretly Canadian)

7
Slave Ambient
Critical Mass
Release Date: August 16, 2011
Label: Secretly Canadian

by Josh Modell

These Philly rockers conjure an ambling drone that conceals real pop hooks ?and allows classic-rock ?colors to seep through. ?Main man Adam Granduciel gets plenty of Dylan comparisons, but Slave Ambient feels like a more back-alley Byrds filtered through a gauzier Spacemen 3 lens. The chugging "Your Love Is Calling My Name" drives that road for six blissful ?minutes. But their best song, "Baby Missiles" -- in ?a different version here ?than on 2010's Future Weather EP -- overlays a synth aura, like '80s-era Springsteen with a splash of Arcade Fire. It's vexing ?in exactly the right way.

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