Rockers return with 'A Deeper Understanding'

Adam Granduciel was blessed with Bob Dylan's intonation, Bruce Springsteen's penchant for synthesized bombast and My Bloody Valentine's love of fuzzy, layered guitars. It all came together just about perfectly on 2014's Lost in the Dream, an album that Granduciel wrote mostly in isolation while battling panic attacks and depression. The result is anything but insular; the songs were made for dome-less stadiums and open windows on late-night drives.

The War on Drugs' new album, A Deeper Understanding, picks up where Lost in the Dream left off, with Granduciel delivering simple lines — “I wanna love you but I get knocked down” — with a folkie's simplicity and a depth that reveals itself slowly and methodically.

Still, the album also doesn't do much to progress the band's sound beyond Lost in the Dream, and the songs have a tendency to overlap with each other in a way that sometimes feels less like cohesion and more like repetition. But even though the War on Drugs only does one thing, it does that one thing very well, and when I saw the band at the Newport on the Lost in the Dream tour, Granduciel more than made up for a lack of crowd interaction with a great-sounding rock show. (Safe bet)