The War On Drugs (At Dell Music Center)

The War On Drugs (At Dell Music Center)

Philadelphia’s The War on Drugs reside at the blurred edges of American music: overexposing studio limitations, piling tape upon tape to maximum density, and then — with each song — they pull off the scaffolding to reveal what sticks, keeping only what’s absolutely necessary and dig into what sounds like the best kind of fucked up. As on their 2008 debut, Wagonwheel Blues, central member Adam Granduciel takes small moments occurring over multiple tapes and multiple song versions, and puts every last drop of trust in his own keen instinct of momentum.

That’s not to overshadow the sharp, personal songwriting at play here. There are certainly cues taken from our very best American bards (Dylan, Petty, Springsteen). Yet, The War on Drugs are wise enough to also implode those cues or send themselves into outer space when the moment calls for it. The driving organ riff that pushes “Baby Missiles,” from the band’s 2010 epic EP Future Weather, may well be inspired by a fever dream of Springsteen rather than any particular song in his catalogue. And the endless layers of guitar melody and atmospherics of “Comin’ Through,” also from Future Weather, rather than add weight to the vessel, only work to fill its sails with warmer and warmer winds.

White Laces

White Laces is an American rock band whose future-leaning sounds have been praised by Ad Hoc, Vice, Stereogum and other influential print and electronic publications. The Richmond, Virginia group recently completed its second LP in Philadelphia with Jeff Zeigler (whose lengthy rap sheet includes work with The War On Drugs, Nothing and Purling Hiss) and aims to release it later in 2014.

The band released a 12” EP in 2011 on Shdwply Records (PC Worship, Ducktails, Gary War) followed by their debut LP Moves in 2012 on Speakertree Records (Cloud Nothings, Lilys). White Laces is Landis Wine, Jay Ward and Jimmy Held.

A.M. Mills

"Fans of the late, great Blood Feathers (or, if you are a truly old head, Aspera) may have recognized the sweet, dulcet Petty-ish tones of one Drew Mills opening up last night's sold-out War On Drugs show at Union Transfer. And indeed, that was he, resurfacing for his first gig under the moniker A.M. Mills, with the above track going online this morning. "Wreckin' My World" is the first public offering from a full album of stuff in the can recorded by Terry Yerves and mixed by Quentin Stoltzfus (Mazarin, Light Heat). Mills is currently sorting out plans for the record's release and booking some local gigs. Keep an eye out for this one." -Philebrity

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