A contender for my favourite album of 2014 already then. Seriously. I know this band have had a lot of hype of late. I know this, because I have been told, not because I read music magazines any more. Along with Swans, I think they have genuinely created something very, very exciting and I, for one cannot stop listening. Whilst I would normally steer well clear of bands getting loads and loads of hype (not out of pettiness, just a need to figure things out for myself) I got this album out of curiosity and have not stopped listening since. It’s a weird mash up of Dylan meets Springsteen meets Dire Straits, with the latter to the fore for the majority of the record and sometimes – weirdly – I am hearing Rod Stewart in the mix, like on ‘Red Eyes’. Despite this werid mash up of artists – with the exception of Dylan – none of whom I am crazy about musically, this album really is fucking magnificent. I actually sent a text to my best friend telling him to check it out because I have not been as obsessed with a record since Wilco dropped ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtort’. HIs response ‘How can I ignore a recommendation like that’. And I don’t think you can ignore this record, nor should you. Even if you are like me and have that tendency to run from the artists surrounded in hype try and put that itch to one side and go and pick up this record. There is also more than a small nod to the working relationship between Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile. Whilst The War on Drugs have a cleaner more polished sound to Vile’s more grungey, garagey vibe there are clear similarities between the two aritsts – hardly surprising I suppose – which would in itself make for an interesting comparison. And as much as I love Mr Vile, this is simply a brilliant brilliant record that may well eclipse everything else I hear this year. Check it out.