The War On Drugs: Slave Ambient

The War On Drugs: Slave Ambient

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There are plenty of moments midway where the album drifts into a sort of ethereal sense of being: and its diversity track-by-track is often so subtle that there’s little to differentiate the great tunes from the even better ones. That said, the rollicking vibe of Brothers is a treat; the unique resonant tone vocally setting the scene for what is a terrific road-trip album. The flavour shifts everso slightly with I Was There, which is driven by piano melodies and sinewy guitar motifs, here The War On Drugs taking on the form of Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver. Other key tracks here are Your Love Is Calling My Name and Baby Missiles, which could easily be lost tracks from Kurt Vile’s wonderful second album Childish Prodigy; their angular guitar chords and anxious undercarriage sincere in recalling Vile’s echoy demeanour on amazing tunes like Freak Train. Somewhere along the way Slave Ambient segues into, as suggested, ambience: guitar and vocal drones and saturated instrumental passages, which raises the bar and creates another very comfortable listening space to linger in.

BY STEVE PHILLIPS