Staff Picks: The War on Drugs #NakedRuby

My pick is The War on Drugs – “Barrel of Batteries.” I’m a big supporter of raw music, and chances are good that I will like a song live much better than recorded. I figure it has something to do with the emotion that comes through a live set rather than a studio recording and all the perfectionism that comes with it. I guess I love imperfection.

The War on Drugs is an American rock band from Philly, PA. They’re sound is indie rock, with a little Americana, sprinkled with Nirvana and Bob Dylan influences. I originally started listening to them when they were very new and their sound was very raw, and since then they’ve received critical acclaim and have released 3 albums. Their most recent was Lost in the Dream which came out earlier this year.

My favourite song of theirs is “Barrel of Batteries” off their debut album Wagonwheel Blues. Something about the sound just called to me. It probably had something to with ex-band member and founder, Kurt Vile, who departed after that first album. Since that departure, the band’s sound has become a lot cleaner. While I still really like what they have going on, it was that early sound that drew me in.

That being said, they’re still a great band and you should check out some of their other material as well. Here’s another taste:


In our Staff Picks series, each NU staffer will be showcasing their favourite album or song and tagging it with their #Naked hashtag. Be sure to follow your favourite writers through their hashtags on Twitter & Instagram at @NUndergroundTO

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