The War on Drugs – Live Drugs review

There’s something about being powerless in an age where man is supposed to be able to conquer any challenge using his own invention; our weaknesses and inability to control parts of our destiny should be a humbling experience for everyone on this planet.

In this context a live album might suffer from the irony of being unable to see a repeat either for performer or audience, but Adam Granduciel removes the edge from this in having compiled Live Drugs from a huge archive of the band’s material dating back over a decade.

It’s also on reflection – as that’s all most are able to do at the moment – a fitting testimony to persistence and belief in the self. As a vehicle The War on Drugs have taken some flak over the years, mainly because of the music’s lack of pretension, but it’s arguably this that makes Live Drugs work so effectively; Granduciel is not a showman, but aware enough to understand that songs like Under The Pressure and A Deeper Understanding have resonated with fans living outside the bubble of critical appreciation.

On these tracks and the others here it’s easy to see how simple the excercise of these gigs must be as an act of reciprocity between singer and those who hear the songs. At a time when even human contact is a merciful delight, it’s a humbling reminder of both proximity and joy.

You can read the full review here.