The War On Drugs - Future Weather 12" EP

(Secretly Canadian, 2010)

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“(Adam) Granduciel and Kurt Vile founded the band back in 2003, toiling away for five years and with various band members in the Philadelphia scene, leading up to their "big break" when Secretly Canadian took the group under their wing and put out their 2008 debut, Wagonwheel Blues. Then, Vile's solo material gained even greater attention than that of his main band, and he struck out on his own. He didn't leave the band, not exactly-- he's still a member, albeit not one who appears on Future Weather.

Laws of physics aside, it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to suggest that Granduciel and Vile have some sort of telepathy when creatively separated from each other. Just as Vile's latest EP, Square Shells, moved away from the tape-hissed classic rock sound of his previous releases and toward a lonelier, more reverb-coated place, Future Weather also takes a trip down a lyrically overcast road, littered with regret, isolation, and loss. The sentiments are frequently naked in presentation, especially in the lovelorn "Comin' Through" and just plain lonely "Brothers".

Adding to the record's bummed-out mood is the possibility that this release resulted from a point of frustration and personal disappointment. The majority of the EP was taken from seemingly since-scrapped sessions from the War on Drugs' follow-up to Wagonwheel Blues, suggesting that this release could represent a creative hand-washing from Granduciel, who recorded the majority of the EP by himself, with drummer Mike Zanghi and multi-instrumentalist Dave Hartley filling in the gaps as necessary. Yet Future Weather doesn't sound rush-released-- instead, the band's compositional strengths and flair for sonic texture have clearly taken a leap forward. (See the sea of tangled guitars and far-off harmonica in "Brothers" or the knotty shuffle of "Comin' Through".) This stuff still sounds homespun, but the reel-to-reel feel of Wagonwheel Blues is mostly gone and replaced with something more fully realized.” - Larry Fitzmaurice for Pitchfork