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The War on Drugs - “Rough Drafts” (2014) review


The War on Drugs - Rough Drafts (Secretly Canadian, 2014)

Released in November of 2014, Rough Drafts epitomizes all that’s wrong with the those who ‘collect’ and don’t play the music. Consisting of two differing versions of previously released material, “An Ocean In Between The Waves” mixed by Nicholas Vernhes at the Rare Boom Room in 2013, now tracking at seven minutes and twenty-two seconds, along with an alternate mix for the number “Burning,” now tracking in at six minutes and forty-one seconds, both being excellent songs gathered together as a single CD, packaged in a gatefold card sleeve, and given away when purchasing copies of the War On Drugs’ album Lost In The Dream at European Rough Trade Stores, and is now selling for upwards of $150US … hence the title Rough Drafts and its ‘rough’ wordage association with Rough Trade.

As to the total number of these singles floating around out there, that is quite debatable, as few ever come up for sale or trade. No one has uploaded copies for listening onto any of the video sites, meaning those who would certainly be happy with MP3 versions don’t even have the privilege of hearing the material there, all because greedily little music collectors have hoarded it away, knowing that if downloadable copies are released, that the value of their precious single will plummet in value.

Regardless … I don’t own a copy, though I’d certainly like to. I have heard the songs over an iPhone from one of the band members, and even that was a rather low bitrate, but still, a smile of satisfaction ebbed across my face as I listened, delighted to hear, and wishing that I could do so any time I chose, but I can’t, so I’ll simply be happy with having heard and keep searching.

See, this is one of those releases where no one is out money, no one is being stolen from, the disc was a give away, the only ones making money off this release are those who managed to get a free copy and now demand premium prices for it. Sharing this music is essential, and will harm no one, so if you’ve got a copy of these great songs, please share them with the world. Share them with me ... PLEASE!

- Jenell Kesler
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