Philadelphia’s The War on Drugs reside at the blurred edges of American music. Overexposing studio limitations, piling tape upon tape to maximum density, and then pull off the scaffolding to reveal what sticks, keeping only what’s absolutely necessary.

That’s not to overshadow the sharp, personal songwriting at play here. There are certainly cues taken from the very best American bands (Dylan, Petty, Springsteen). Yet, The War on Drugs are wise enough to also implode those cues or send themselves into outer space when the moment calls for it.