Fresh off a tour that saw the reunited band playing a set of songs focused on their first two records, “The Days Of Wine & Roses” & “Medicine Show”, The Dream Syndicate hit the studio and recorded their first album since 1988.
The influence of their first couple of albums can be heard throughout this new album. Making it not quite the missing link between the two earlier records, nor a straight follow up to the two aforementioned albums.
Instead it is more a band at the height of their powers, knowing what they do well, and doing just that. The cliche of having one foot in the past while stepping forward into the future has rarely ever been so accurate.
The album starts elegantly with the song “Filter me through you” riding a melodic fuzzy guitar riff that seems to have started before we joined the song. Separate guitar parts come from either speaker, left and right in a pleasant attack.
Track two “Glide” occupies a different space, more wide open, with a spacey effected guitar line.
Track four “80 West” cracks out of the gate with a bass bounce & all on two guitar assault..a lyrical travelogue of a man on the run…punctuated with slide guitar…
Track Six “The Circle” practically burns the record down…with fuzzed our feedback guitar, with the rest of the band racing along, just a bit behind…
Track Seven “How Did I Find Myself”. The title track, shifts gears…sounds like the band on a Jazz tip, circa Miles Davis “On The Corner”…feedback guitar on the left, bass and added keyboards upfront…Steve Wynn drops lyrical couplets that intrigue, and hint at a story partly told, like real life…
Track Eight, “Kendra’s Dream”, concludes the album with a beautiful burnout, and finds the welcome return of Kendra Smith as vocalist on this track. She was the original Bass player in band back in 1982, and last took lead vocal duties on “Too little, too late” from the band’s debut LP, “The Days Of Wine & Roses”
The album is a triumph and welcome return.
The band will be playing live in Portland on September 29th, along with Portland’s own, Eyelids.