If you’re listening to The War on Drugs, or even interested in following the band, then odds are you’re a fan of Kurt Vile. While we can respect his individual works, it’s not Vile who makes a statement here, rather it’s frontman Adam Granduciel. Future Weather was written predominantly by Adam, with a little help from some other friends, and it might possibly win over more fans, letting him step out of the shadow of Vile.
During the opening moments of “Come to the City #14” you will find that atmospheric ambient noise associated with Philly at the moment, but as it subsides, it goes right into “Baby Missiles,” kicking off a great three song set. While you can definitely feel a bit of hazy, primarily in the background, this has more of an upbeat folk approach one might reflect upon if they’ve listened to Arcade Fire. The quickly spoken lyrics, that pounding drum rhythm, they all add up to that sound, and its so enjoyable, you can’t help but realize The War on Drugs is coming into its own. Heading into “Coming Through,” you’re likely to find a bit more of a somber tone, perhaps given by Adam’s vocals or by the established mood of the music itself. Guitars meander through various audio channels consistently, bordering on jamming, but there’s enough restraint here to keep a bit of focus. Lyrically, you’ve got imagery associated with parting ships, a possible nod to Vile. The sound of Future Weather goes even further into folk territory on the following track, “Pile of Tires,” with its ambling guitar effects, and its distant vocals, almost as if you were listening to the band from a far off stage. It’s got a certain warmth hinting at its influences, but it makes for a strong three song start.
The latter half of Future Weather EP is filled with just as much quiet beauty as the first half, leaving you wanting more than your getting, with only six complete songs present. “Brothers” is like a pure American classic rock hit, carrying the melody with an understated bit of sunshine, unable to escape the darker mood of the lyrics and Granduciel’s vocal quality. Seems like the sort of jam you want to sing-a-long to with your friends, if you’re in to singing classic rock tracks. The War on Drugs closes the EP out with a nice long track, yet it differs a little bit from the previous tracks, allowing the atmospheric touches to extend beyond their normal range. Vocals, like the music, comes across a bit drawn out, but it is refreshing to see a bit of a switch on the offerings up to this point in time. But, don’t turn away too quick, as the pace slightly picks up, even though the vocal delivery remains slow. A nice way to close out this effort.
By the end of this listen, you’ve probably forgotten the association with Kurt Vile. Adam G. has done a great job with The War on Drugs, and Future Weather cements his role as a songwriter in his own right. As the weather waivers between warm and cold, I can feel this spinning on my turntable into 2011.
Download: The War on Drugs – Comin’ Through [MP3]