The Dream Syndicate - How Did I Find Myself Here?

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2017-09-08

The Dream Syndicate were a big hit with their now classic, iconic 1982 album, The Days of Wine and Roses. Then, when they left their small label for A&M to release what I considered not only a logical progression of their sound, but an even better second album, Medicine Show, it didn’t sell well and A&M records dropped the group. The band languished for a while, or so it seemed, but still released a couple more albums before breaking up in 1989.

The Dream Syndicate are one of my favorite bands of all time and if you track who they’ve influenced over that last 30+ years, the list includes New Pornographers, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr., Japandroids and countless other bands who cite their sound as an major influence. I attribute this to the songwriting and vision of the leader Steve Wynn.  His body of work after 1989 as a solo artist is so underrated and perhaps even under the radar as any artist in all of alternative music. Just go on YouTube and look up Amphetamine Steve Wynn KEXP (a 2011 show I believe in a bike shop). I have everything Steve Wynn that I have been able to find. From the Dream Syndicate on through his newer formations like the Miracles, right up to his collaborations with Peter Buck that are going on now. Steve Wynn is one of alternative music’s truly great all-time artists.  It’s as simple as that.

So now it’s 2017 and there is a new Dream Syndicate album called How Did I Find Myself Here?, and there are all the elements of what Steve Wynn has been playing and perfecting as a truly great alternative icon all of these years: scorching guitars, his flat, dead-pan beautiful voice, but even more so, his incredible ability to craft a song. When The Dream Syndicate signed with a big label they got to tour with U2 and REM and where are those groups now?  U2 is doing a retro Joshua Tree tour and REM is no longer, yet Steve Wynn is blasting out magnificent new tunes like "Filter Me Through You" and "The Circle," and well, there isn’t a weak dull track on their new album.  I keep playing it over and over.  It is filled with great songs centered around Wynn’s voice and layers upon layers of grungy, rock and roll guitars in a mid-tempo manner that define their sound and often escalate into blistering guitar progressions.

If you have missed such albums by Steve Wynn as Static Transmission or Here Come the Miracles you might want to fill in your back catalog.

Me?  I’m going to catch perhaps the most underrated rock band in all of alternative history at Off-Broadway, a 300 seat venue December 6th that is just down the road.  The band might ask how did they find themselves here in this small venue in St. Louis.  But I won’t.  Keep cranking it out, Mr. Wynn…

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars