Pin It

New Addiction 

The War on Drugs are a band you haven't heard but should be paying attention to.

click to enlarge art17079.jpg

It’s 2011, and maybe you’re an American indie rock band whose most obvious influences are Bob Dylan and My Bloody Valentine. You haven’t become a “buzz-band” yet, and maybe you’re inclined to give up. Because it’s starting to feel like the Internet is just a harsh musical environment for burgeoning acts: If your debut single doesn’t become an online hit, you’re not worth the time.

But there are always exceptions, right? Like the War on Drugs — a group that has been together since 2003 and at one point had indie icon-in-the-making Kurt Vile as a member — who finally is getting its big break on the release of Slave Ambient, their second LP and fifth recording.

Unsuspecting and curious, Ambient — a throbbing, swooshing, twanging, rocking record — strolls through classic indie territory with a confidence and maturity. The band’s sound is one that, on paper, seems ostentatious: the folksy croon of Bob Dylan meets Tom Waits’ rambling-man attitude. Or the rhythmic pulse of U2 beats behind Springsteen’s cocky rock presence. And the War on Drugs throws a red shirt in with the load of whites: adding the caress of shoegaze-y guitar feedback akin to My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive.

But lead singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel isn’t comfortable hiding behind these walls of reverb. Instead of washing away all of the character in their rock with a protective layer of noise, the War on Drugs use it as a platform to stand on, making what is probably the first ever arena-ready bedroom pop.

And while the War on Drugs can no doubt be classified as a band tailored for headphone-listening, it should be no surprise that the group can really bring it when it comes to performing live. Theirs is a sound meant for the stage.

Maybe, then, it’s no surprise that the band finally is getting its time to shine. Over the years they’ve crafted their music to be the type that delivers on all fronts, and they’ve finally managed to get people’s attention.

The War on Drugs plays with Purling Hiss, Carter Tanton and Dead Serious Lovers • Thurs, Oct. 27, at 7:30 pm • $7, presale; $10, door • 21 • A Club • • 624-3629


  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Meet 
the Sun
  • Meet the Sun

    Karrie O'Neill is finally ready to take her music full time, complete with a brand-new album and upcoming tour
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Party like it's 1975
  • Party like it's 1975

    The latest British pop sensation invades Spokane
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Act Naturally
  • Act Naturally

    After a brain tumor, one local man's recovery was aided by listening to classic rock. This weekend, he gets to meet Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band
    • Oct 13, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Monumental: Skiing Our National Parks

Monumental: Skiing Our National Parks @ Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox

Thu., Oct. 27, 7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Jordan Satterfield

  • Bands to Watch 2016: JAN FRANCISCO
  • Bands to Watch 2016: JAN FRANCISCO

    One 17-year-old's solo music is taking the Spokane rock scene by storm
    • May 26, 2016
  • Best Burritos
  • Best Burritos

    • Mar 24, 2016
  • Just Listen
  • Just Listen

    A veteran of the Spokane music scene tells us why you should love your local tunes
    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Kids Aren't Alright

    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children can't quite strike the balance between whimsy and darkness
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film


indigo girls


spokane symphony

Readers also liked…

  • Pour Them
  • Pour Them

    Silver Treason continues to show off their country twang and attitude on debut album
    • Jan 7, 2016
  • One Night at the Bayou
  • One Night at the Bayou

    Moscow doesn't have many all-ages music venues; now, four roommates offer up their basement
    • Apr 7, 2016

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation