On September 8th, seminal indie rock band The Dream Syndicate will release their fifth studio album and first since 1988, How Did I Find Myself Here? Formed in Los Angeles in 1981, The Dream Syndicate was founded by current members Steve Wynn (guitar, vocals) and Dennis Duck (drums) along with Karl Precoda (guitar) and Kendra Smith (bass). With its widely celebrated 1982 debut The Days of Wine and Roses, the band emerged at the forefront of 1980s college rock as ambassadors for a so-called “Paisley Underground” scene in Los Angeles that included peers like The Bangles, The Three O’Clock, and Opal (a precursor of Mazzy Star). The band split in 1989 after releasing a total of four albums, but over the years The Dream Syndicate has proven to be a massively influential force; Kurt Cobain listed the band among his inspirations, Prince named his studio Paisley Park in reference to the Paisley Underground, and allusions to the band’s jangly neo-psychedelia have crept into the sounds of contemporary bands like The Allah Las. The Dream Syndicate reunited for a Spanish music festival in 2012, and the band has since played over 50 shows and toured throughout the US and Europe with a lineup that now includes guitarist Jason Victor and longtime bassist Mark Walton. In 2016, they headed into the studio and began working on their first album in nearly 30 years.
“[The magic] was there,” says Wynn of the making of How Did I Find Myself Here? “It sounds like everything that I loved about The Dream Syndicate and yet sounds unlike any other record we made.” Now, the band shares the LP’s first single and title track. With its heavy grooves, hypnotic guitar work, and gorgeously fractured textures, the 11-minute-plus piece of sprawling psych-rock feels both classic and forward-pushing.
“The Dream Syndicate have miraculously avoided creative stagnation, even 35-plus years into their existence, defying the usual rock-band career arc… [“How Did I Find Myself Here?” is] fire. The funky bass and drums interplay sounds like transcendental library-music ensemble the Heliocentrics… Psychedelically shimmering guitars give the song liftoff, their liquid, lysergic riffs 4th of July-ing all over the stalwart rhythm. The drama never falters over the song’s 11 minutes, even ending with a wonky ambient coda that could be off a Biosphere record.” -The Stranger
RIYL: The Fall, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, The Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, Thee Oh Sees, The Gun Club
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