Work Drugs are an immensely fun Philadelphia band who are catching attention left and right by crafting insidiously catchy pop tracks masquerading as dance-inflected indie weirdness. Their hallmark so far has been songs that just seem quirky and fun at first but then, suddenly, will have 50 plays in your iTunes and you singing along with every word of the lead singer’s thin, laid back delivery. That description and their penchant for synths and booming drums makes their choice of “Beth/Rest,” when picking a Bon Iver track to remix as part of an ongoing competition, an odd one.
To be fair, there isn’t too much crossover between the two bands, so any choice would seem like a weird one. When you think about “Beth/Rest,” though, there’s a case to be made that it was the track where Justin Vernon and co. were having the most fun – going well out of character and defying expectations by ending the most critically-acclaimed album of 2011 with an earnest Peter Gabriel send-up. That makes the choice for Work Drugs, a band that is all about fun, make a little more sense. The pieces all fit together when you hear the robust slow jam turned into a whole new beast by speeding up the proceedings to make the track into a new kind of anthem.
Oh, and they apparently they made the track “using a 10 year old Packard Bell found along the roadside with an outdated version of Windows Sound Recorder.” Resourceful.