The War on Drugs Lost in the Dream

The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
Since emerging in 2008 with Wagonwheel Blues, these Philadelphia sons have been purveyors of the finest one- and two-chord jams that charted their geographic and spiritual proximity to both Springsteen and the Velvet Underground. Lost in the Dream starts down this same path on churning opener "Under the Pressure," but then splits off into several directions that feature expanded instrumental experiments and a tendency towards bigger, if slightly narcotized, anthems.

Singer Adam Granduciel piles his blue collar mystic lyricism atop a rush of eddying rhythms and tones that feature Robbie Bennett's keyboards more prominently than ever. A touch of '80s-style production, including occasional saxophone-as-emotional-beat, at times threatens to nudge things into a satirical mash-up of Dire Straits/Bruce Hornsby hits, but they ride the right side of that precipice.

Ending with a couple of more introspective pieces, the band lets a little air into the mix, and closer "In Reverse" turns out to be an album highlight, saving it from feeling like just a bleed of primary colours. (Secretly Canadian)