The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream

TWOD have craftily created their own little sonic ballpark to play around in and Lost In The Dream shows that they’re simply getting better at it.


The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream album cover

Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen. Yes, yes and yes. Right, that’s that out of the way. If you’ve heard any TWOD stuff before you’ll be familiar with people likening them to all of the above. Hell, we’ve even seen the singer sporting a Tom Petty jacket on stage for crying out loud but for once, let’s try and get to grips with TWOD without rehashing the same old stuff shall we? I say that because TWOD have craftily created their own little sonic ballpark to play around in and Lost In The Dream shows that they’re simply getting better at it.

Their template is quite simple, when you think about it. Start things off slowly and gently layer things up until the band hits a gentle, rolling rhythm and then run with it, and run with it and run with it and run with it. They’re not good at ending songs either, they just kind of phase things out eventually. I can see why that may rile some people up the wrong way, as many people like their songs like they like their paperback novels and action movies, with a firm beginning, a solid middle and an action-packed end. But hey, if you go with TWOD – and I mean really give yourself up to them, you’ll find yourself getting carried along, if not so much carried away with them. And they can be truly delightful company. TWOD create music that’s quite trance-like – Is there such a thing as trance rock? If not, here it is in all its glory.  How else to explain this to you? Well, here goes….

When I was a teenager, living a trapped existence in a village somewhere in the valleys of North East England, it was difficult to find anything to do other than play football or hang around by the local phone box. Even going to the latest city would take three buses and far too much time so getting out of the village, at any point, always seemed like a bit of a victory. As some of our older friends began to drive and suddenly found themselves owners of some complete vehicular death traps, we jumped at any opportunity to pile into the back seat of one of them and just go for a drive. Anywhere.

Usually, anywhere meant nowhere in particular and so we would spend hours driving around country roads, speeding along with only two dodgy, dim headlights saving us from careering into walls, fences, hedges, that kind of thing. Of course, there were some near misses and once or twice there were full-on accidents, but the majority of those trips were actually quite sedate affairs, just aimlessly driving. We would pass through village after village for no apparent reason, with no apparent destination, just killing time. We would revel in our new found ‘freedom’ even if we would still be home by 11 most nights. But that feeling of just being on the move, that sense of being free from the trap you’d spent years enveloped by, was fantastic. We would do this night after night, partly because it was warmer than standing around a phone box but mainly because it was a great way to waste time with your mates. It was good company and things were always, always moving.

TWOD are like that, constantly moving, often with no real destination in mind. They’ll carry you along with them and you’ll share their company happily because that’s exactly what they are. Good company.

Lost in the dream is a joy. Let it into your life and enjoy the ride.