How Did I Find Myself Here?

The Dream Syndicate

ANTI- Records, 2017

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On their first studio album since 1988, indie rock icons The Dream Syndicate has returned with a sound very much their own. Opening track “Filter Me Through You” has a very dream-like quality to it and is one of the more striking rock songs of the year. Leader/singer/songwriter Steve Wynn is still on top of his game and the way the band works on the track is just astounding. Recorded in my backyard of Richmond, VA, the album works and weaves its way throughout rock music and astounds many an ear.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Glide” will make anyone who grew up loving shoegaze very happy. It’s very trance-like and almost designed to put one to sleep, but in a good way. All over the record, the guitars of Wynn and newbie Jason Victor work so well; at some points it almost comes across like Dinosaur Jr., volume and intensity wise, which is never a bad thing.

“Like Mary” shows the band slowing things down a bit without overly trying to bludgeon everyone’s ears, and it’s a nice, catchy song. “80 West” is so loud and heavy, you almost think you’re listening to punk rock. Wow! That’s all I can really say. That’s how impressive this song and the whole record really is. The guitar work on “The Circle” might take one back to the ‘80s without having the song turn into dance crap, which is an impressive thing to do these days. It’s another great song and one that deserves infinite repeats.

The 11 minute-plus title track definitely takes some getting used to. It’s bathed in psychedelia and is the one that is closest to their early sound. Closing cut “Kendra’s Dream” is the real eye-opener, though. Featuring original member and longtime recluse Kendra Smith on vocals and lyrics, the song is very trance-y and one can envision hearing it running through their head while on an acid trip.

All in all, this is one of the most eye opening releases of the year. It was something I was completely not expecting. If you love loud alternative rock that sounds timeless, then this is the record for you!

Rating: A

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