war on drugs | holding on

War On Drugs A Deeper Understanding

The Philadelphia band War On Drugs keeps getting better and better! It’s true. I have been a fan since 2009 upon hearing “I’ve been wandering by your room and nothings coming out…” This band moves you, gets into your pores, drips from you ear-space and cuts into your emotions like a highly keen razor-edged knife. It’s is an apt descriptor, because, you won’t know how this music affects you until you experience it and try to move away and live without it. Then like a razor ghosting over the skin, you’re cut! Yet, the cut seems at first superficial, you don’t know its there until you disturb it, then the flesh pours out a fine rivulet of bright red blood. The only workable tourniquet is to play the music often and loud. Great music is like that, it does something to you, and the War On Drugs there’s plenty to enjoy.

Yet, it’s the music and naturally Adam’s (Granduciel) incredible voice, a voice of tempered nihilistism wrought into a communicable and warm docility. A voice that’ll catch you up and lay you down amid a range of emotions both high and low. But, Adam’s voice catches fire and draws nerve from such meditative orchestration. The pulsing locomotive churn of drummed up primitiveness, the ever present silt of electric guitar as it comes at you in waves of feverish calm. For instance, try and sit still sit and listen to An Ocean Between The Waves, a track lifted from the band’s Lost In A Dream (2014) and not get lost and found. I fucking dare you! This album, this particular song re-centers me. I would have to admit this is my favorite rock band, second only to Radiohead and whatever else Tom Yorke is doing. But where was I?

The recent drop, Holding On, taken from the WOD’s forthcoming release A Deeper Understanding, is a great reintroduction to a highly anticipated body of work by this incredibly impactful band. The song reassures fans of a return to an ongoing consistency continued. I must also offer that this first song, Holding On, has me a bit spooked. Why? I mean, just listen to it. If this is the jumping off point of the new album what the hell is the rest of the album going to unleash? Holding On is six minutes and 29 seconds of introspective bliss. It’s got the driven heartbeat, the signature imprint of the War On Drugs. But is also has all of the hope and brilliance of a new day’s sunrise and promise. This song is optimism personified:

“Ain’t no way I’m gonna last.

Hiding in the seams, I can’t move the past.

Feel like I’m about to crash.

Riding the same line, I keep keeping on…”

The new album, A Deeper Understanding, drops August 25th, 2017 courtesy of Atlantic Records. Peace.

Band: War On Drugs
Release: A Deeper Understanding
Featured Track: Holding On
War On Drugs: Holding On, Lyrics:

Once I was alive and I could feel
I was holding on to you
And I redefined the way I looked at dawn inside of you

I went down a crooked highway
I went all outside the line
I’ve been rejected, now the light has turned and I’m out of time

Ain’t no way I’m gonna last
Hiding in the seams, I can’t move the past
Feel like I’m about to crash
Riding on my line, keep keeping on

Once we were apart and I could see red
Never trying to turn back time
Never meant to bring my pain to the front and into your life

Now I’m headed down a different road
Can we walk it side by side?
Is an old memory just another way of saying goodbye?

Ain’t no way I’m gonna last
Hiding in the seams, I can’t move the past
Feel like I’m about to crash
Riding the same line, I keep keeping on

I ain’t never going to change
He’ll never get in line
I keep moving on the path, yeah
Holding on to mine

When you talk about the past
What are we talking of?
Did I let go too fast?
Was I holding on too long?

Ain’t no truths from the past
As silent as the sea
Am I holding on too long?
But you’re right in front of me

And I’m moving on a cast
Shadows on my seam
I keep moving to changes, yeah

Heart or hope
Heart or hope
Heart or hope
Heart or hope.

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