The War on Drugs

When Richard Nixon coined the phrase “The War on Drugs” in 1971, he could not possibly have predicted that it would become the name of an indie rock act from Philadelphia. But nearly four decades after Nixon left office in disgrace, his slogan has taken on another meaning entirely, conjuring inequality, hypocrisy, and futility. The War on Drugs’ music isn’t really about the epic failure of drug prohibition, but it does feel distinctly dystopian. On their new record Slave Ambient, frontman Adam Granduciel sings about bad dreams, the rattling in his brain, rambling down the freeway, and drifting “past the farms and debris” on his way home, among other things. Alternating between languid melodies and anthemic rock, the influences of Wilco and Bruce Springsteen are undeniable, but perhaps Tricky Dick deserves some credit too for sowing the seeds of discontent so many years ago. With Purling Hiss, Carter Tanton. KEEGAN HAMILTON

Wed., Oct. 26, 9 p.m., 2011

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