Label: Secretly Canadian
The War on Drugs' aesthetic is really kind of strange. The Philadelphia group appears to be obsessed with fusing The Boss' mid-'80s "new pop" phase (a la "Cover Me" and "Dancing in the Dark") with modern indie tricks, like electro-psychedelic tribalism and lo-fi mood-folk. Though nothing on this eight-song EP is as epic and classic as Wagonwheel Blues' "Arms Like Boulders," one of the best rock anthems of the 21st century, it, overall, is a stronger and more varied listen than the band's debut album. Main man Adam Granduciel's songwriting has totally evolved in the intervening two years.