Most everything there is to read on The War on Drugs compares them to Springsteen, Petty and Dylan. And while the Philadelphia-based band's songcraft certainly stands on the shoulders of those giants, it's truer to say Adam Granduciel's songcraft is its own class. The War on Drugs are the finest grade of rock and roll, and should thus be paired with the finest of vices. Here are my suggestions.
High Voltage #57
Recommended Song Pairing: "Red Eyes"
While this outstanding track from 2014's Lost in the Dream is more about crying than getting ripped; it's also one of the finest examples of leader Adam Granduciel's driving rock genius, so it deserves a clear-headed uplifter.
Recommended Song Pairing: "Best Night"
This track kicked off Slave Ambient in 2011 and remains Granduciel's best opener, a shimmery number that's nice to hear while sipping on your first glass of zin or bourbon. Or maybe Two Towns or a light lager.
Solitary Cigarettes After You're Already Drunk
Recommended Song Pairing: "Strangest Thing"
You may find yourself rummaging for the hidden pack and out on the back patio staring up at the moon after the family's been asleep awhile. You can take a drag, picture yourself looking out over the Schuylkill as that opening reverb rushes in.
Recommended Song Pairing: "Thinking of a Place"
"Thinking of a Place" begins in Little Bend, South Dakota, rides down a river of sound and ends in a baptism of guitar and piano. You can listen in any and all states of mind, but one of those times, maybe get good and stoned, put on some headphones and get lost in the music.
Codeine-laced Cough Syrup
Recommended Song Pairing: "In Reverse"
If the doc signs off and you find yourself holding a bottle of cherry-flavored gold, might I recommend the closing track from Lost in the Dream? Slather on some VapoRub, go to bed early, and let the soundscape and opioids wash you away.
SEE IT: The War on Drugs plays Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, with Phoebe Bridges, on Wednesday, Oct. 11. 8 pm. $29.50-$45. All ages. Get tickets here.