On the Future Weather EP, promising Philadelphia band The War On Drugs comes on like a jumpy roots-rock outfit that never felt it necessary to dig past its collection of beat-up, mid-’80s Hooters and Tom Petty tapes. Future Weather doesn’t have a prairie pretense; you can practically feel singer-songwriter Adam Granduciel yearning for the open road while stuck in traffic during the groggy jangle of “Comin’ Through.” On the rousing highlight “Baby Missiles,” The War On Drugs kicks up splashy synths and insistent, rattling rhythms as Granduciel affects a hopped-up Win Butler yelp. The easy comparisons to Arcade Fire don’t end there on Future Weather, though the spooky, moonlight-drive vibe of the Dylan-esque “Brothers” has an economy of emotion and sonic texture that those Amish-looking Canadians would be wise to study. Less successful is the tumultuous sound collage “The History Of Plastic,” which lumbers about for eight minutes in search of a coherent melody or emotional thread. But even in its lesser moments, Future Weather has the hopeful melancholy of city boys staring into the night sky in search of visible stars.
More from The A.V. Club