Since the War on Drugs' 2008 debut, Wagonwheel Blues, Philadelphia musician Adam Granduciel has combined 80s-style rock with 70s kosmische musik. He does so on Lost in the Dream, only more so. Imagine Neu! covering Dancing in the Dark. On the one hand, there's a dash of Springsteen in the lyrics, that you-and-me-versus-the-broken-American-dream romanticism. On the other hand, there are repetitive, motorik grooves. The long, spaced-out fades of Under the Pressure and Disappearing provide dreamy interludes worthy of Tangerine Dream. The decaying guitars and analogue synthesisers create a crepuscular melancholy. These are impassioned songs, but they steer clear of Bruce's bombast or lighters-aloft choruses. Granduciel twists his buffed-up sounds into exquisite shapes, such as the delay-drenched guitar solo on Suffering. Acoustic guitar, harmonica and saxophone provide pools of warmth in the dusky depths.
Jon Dennis is Guardian's multimedia production editor and also writes about music.