The War on Drugs, Barrel of Batteries EP

The War on Drugs, Barrel of Batteries EP

You know when some bands will release an album and have tracks that are just a few seconds long, or maybe a minute long, of just instrumental music? Well, I normally really hate that and just delete them from my iTunes library. However, on The War on Drugs’ recent Barrel of Batteries EP, I find myself actually liking that part. I think that these little intermissions, found between almost every other song on the EP, fit and connect the album together and make it flow a lot easier.

This particular release features only three full songs, plus three of those instrumental tracks that I mentioned above. The album opens with a quiet, 50-second opening track that I think does really well building into the first full song, “Arms like Boulders.” Then the EP goes right into my favorite track, “Pushing Corn” — this particular track reminds me of Arcade Fire’s Funeral, with singer Adam Granduciel’s sort of whiny voice, the steady beat from the drummer, and the use of some sort of tambourine-type instrument in the background. I love it.

After that track, another intermediate track plays. This one’s only 19 seconds long, and at first doesn’t seem to fit as well as the others, but thinking about it, I really like it. It sounds like a static-y radio station and then just cuts out, and it takes a few seconds for the final full track on the EP, “Buenos Aires Beach,” another charming track, to start up. On this particular track, I enjoy even more Granduciel’s unique voice and how he uses it to enhance the song. It’s hard to explain — you’ll just have to listen to it to understand.

Then, just as the album began with one of those instrumental tracks, the album ends with one, as well, a perfect fit for closing out the album. I have a track in my iTunes library from the band’s full-length release, Wagonwheel Blues, by the way, called “Taking the Farm,” and really like it, too. I’d highly recommend this band, especially the Barrel of Batteries EP. It’s catchy and smart, just a fun collection of songs. I look forward to getting their newest album and hearing what they have in store for the future.

(Secretly Canadian Records -- 1499 West 2nd, Bloomington, IN. 47403; http://www.secretlycanadian.com/; The War on Drugs -- http://www.thewarondrugs.net/)
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Review by . Review posted Saturday, June 20th, 2009. Filed under Reviews.

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