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Slave Ambient

Slave Ambient by The War On Drugs
Released: Aug 2011
Label: Secretly Canadian
Slave Ambient sounds a lot like The War on Drugs' 2008 debut, Wagonwheel Blues: bouncy roots-rock buttressed by a Krautrock-inspired sense of rhythmic repetition. The Long Ryders playing the Neu! songbook, in other words. It's a decent enough listen. The only problem is that the record lacks the killer anthems that made its predecessor so fun -- then again, that just might be the point. This time around, primary singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel sounds more introspective and reflective; not only that, his vocals are often rendered indecipherable by the echo-soaked din challenging them.
Justin Farrar