The War on Drugs
Future Weather


3.5
great

Review

by robin EMERITUS
November 24th, 2010 | 21 replies | 11,269 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: a continuation on a style we will come to love the War on Drugs for: no urgency.

If there was one thing to learn from The War on Drugs on Wagonwheel Blues, it was that the musical ‘epic’ is a loose term. The War on Drugs, counter-productive as ever, make a different kind of epic from their influences. Rather than blazing in and out, and with a fair middle, these guys would have their epics spit and splutter from all sides, eventually stumbling into a too-darn-humble conclusion. No drama, just a slow and steady exploration of everything they can pull off, be it folk or, dare I say it, shoegaze. And Future Weather is such a great continuation because it comes across like blueprints for future epics, without the huge lengths for the most part, but going nowhere like it’s a statement: keep it moody, keep it shapeless.

Yes, they still love Bob Dylan and, more broadly, they love Americana, but they prefer it twisted. And that shows more than ever on Future Weather, which treads similar ground to a couple off their debut proper: “There Is No Urgency” and “Show Me The Coast,” those distorted, wandering tracks, those frauds of folk, are reflected generously here, with tracks that keep that genre’s feeling but take away its conventions. There aren’t any choruses or stand-alone lines to refer back to, which takes them away from traditionalists like Dylan with immediacy. Instead they plough ever forward: “Brothers” drones onwards with guitar-play playful and lyrics spoken formlessly. “A Pile of Tires” follows one dreamy sequence of electric plucks to its unexpected death. And then there’s “The History of Plastic,” which has a handful of endings that mosey on from its messy beginning notes. It’s ambitious stuff, Future Weather, because it challenges the entire band to make itself scarce, and each member responds: there’s the out-of-place (and brilliant) percussion that thumps through the final track, and there’s also Granduciel presenting his lyrics of woe (“I’ve been a fighter for you”) with little interest in making a snug fit for the guys around him. Nothing much fits, and that’s what these guys ride on.

Future Weather is their most reflective material yet. It doesn’t drive towards anything in the same way their anthems do, and really, its only attempt is in vein: “Baby Missiles,” the only track with as much bite as “Arms Like Boulders” or “Taking the Farm,” sounds more cut and pasted than revisited. But when this band revisit (and they love to, if their obsession with numbering songs is anything to go by), it’s better for them to revisit a feeling rather than a style. For the most part, Future Weather takes a second look at what makes the War on Drugs feel so down, and the result is a moody, contemplative set of songs, culminating in their most reverb-heavy, angsty track yet. Once again, the EP has its corners coloured in with wordless reprises, maybe because they don’t have enough material to put out, maybe because they really love playing with guitars and ambience, or maybe because this is just throwaway EP stuff. But I like to think it’s because they’re sticking to their notes and their themes: Future Weather is, in bulk, a record turned inside-out, pissed-off Americana done brilliantly wrong.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
robin
Emeritus
November 24th 2010



4241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i was going to give this a 3.5 review-wise but i just love this band/ep so much. so yeah! sorry. i guess approach it as a 3.5, or something.

AggravatedYeti
November 24th 2010



7684 Comments


I will approach it as a 4 and criticize as such.

robin
Emeritus
November 24th 2010



4241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

difficult

AggravatedYeti
November 24th 2010



7684 Comments


hardly.

robin
Emeritus
November 24th 2010



4241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

difficult dylan.

AggravatedYeti
November 24th 2010



7684 Comments


[img]http://www.laurajones.co.uk/work/Mentos/ROCKIN_ROBIN.jpg[/img]

robin
Emeritus
November 24th 2010



4241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that's me!

porch
November 24th 2010



8453 Comments


this sounds like something i might like

good review

Josh D.
November 24th 2010



13967 Comments


Listening to "Coming Through" right now. Usually not my style, but it has a kind of 80's pop/rock feel to it, kind of like an amalgamation of that style with modern indie or something. It's not bad at all.

thebhoy
Emeritus
November 24th 2010



4459 Comments


Robin, I don't have time to read this, surely elegant, review. Please tell me if I would like:

Y/N/M(aybe)

I will react accordingly.

Romulus
November 24th 2010



8413 Comments


this is really enjoyable, somewhere 3.5-4ish

robin
Emeritus
November 25th 2010



4241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

M(aybe)

BigTuna
November 30th 2010



5154 Comments


this sounds delicious

Digging: Common - Nobody's Smiling

Enotron
December 1st 2010



7695 Comments


fuck more new albums to get

porch
December 1st 2010



8453 Comments


yeah this is pretty cool

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 2nd 2010



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lack of capitalization in the summary is elite as fuck.

Great band name, I'll check this out.

cbmartinez
December 2nd 2010



2525 Comments


band rules so hard, sad that kurt vile left though

xfearbefore
December 2nd 2010



1245 Comments


band rules so hard, sad that kurt vile left though


Seconded. Vile's solo stuff on Matador has been brilliant though.

I'll get around to this one eventually.

Digging: Tiger Army - Tiger Army

cbmartinez
December 3rd 2010



2525 Comments


yeah he's incredible

GulliKyro
December 3rd 2010



357 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its a record that really shines after you've given it a few listens to sink in.



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