LA indie rock forbearers The Dream Syndicate have announced their third ANTI- Records release, The Universe Inside, available April 10. When audiences think of The Dream Syndicate, they don’t just imagine the wild abandon with which singer/guitarist Steve Wynn, drummer Dennis Duck, bassist Mark Walton, keyboardist Chris Cacavas and lead guitarist Jason Victor perform; the carefully-constructed songwriting of Wynn also comes to mind. On the new LP, though, every song is a group songwriting effort. In one session, they recorded 80 continuous minutes of soundscapes. Aside from vocals, horns and a touch of percussion, every instrument is live as it happened. According to Wynn, “There’s just so much lightning-in-a-jar, first take excitement on this record.”
Advance single “The Regulator” kicks in instantly. Reminiscent of Seventies-era Miles Davis and his chaotic brilliance, the track starts all fired up. Over of the course of the song, textures of eastern droning electric sitar (played by Stephen McCarthy of The Long Ryders), deep funky bass, haunting vocals, and saxophone flourishes by guest Marcus Tenney (a member of all-instrumental progressive ensemble Butcher Brown) grow into something delightful and unexpected. “‘The Regulator’ is a microcosm of the entire record,” Wynn explains. “It was just a formless, trippy mass as we all started playing together. There was a Maestro Rhythm King, the same model [of drum machine Sly and the Family Stone] used on “There’s A Riot Goin’ On”—with Dennis locking in and setting the pace. Stephen grabbed an electric sitar because it was the first thing he saw. Jason and I were kicking pedals on like lab monkeys in a laboratory and Mark was a lightning rod, uniting all of those elements into one tough groove.”
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RIYL: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Can, The Velvet Underground, Thee Oh Sees, MIEN, The Rain Parade
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