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L.A. rock band the Dream Syndicate will release its first album in nearly 30 years

 (Juan Carlos Quindos de la Fuente)
(Juan Carlos Quindos de la Fuente)

The Los Angeles band the Dream Syndicate was hardly the city’s most successful rock band during its existence in the 1980s, but for a few brief years, it was one of its most accomplished.

Best known for its 1982 debut album, “The Days of Wine and Roses,” the Dream Syndicate tore its own ragged hole in the city’s music scene, even if it never achieved the success of, say, the Bangles, Black Flag or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

On Thursday, the band’s stubbornly original guitarist, singer-songwriter Steve Wynn, announced that the reformed Dream Syndicate will release its first album in nearly 30 years through the respected L.A. label Anti- Records.

Joining Wynn will be original drummer Dennis Duck, who has carved his own fascinating path as a central figure in the improvisational collective of the Los Angeles Free Music Society.

Formed as a quartet featuring Wynn, Duck, guitarist Karl Precoda and bassist Kendra Smith, the Dream Syndicate’s first iteration lasted only a few years and became connected with the so-called Paisley Underground movement, with groups including the Rain Parade, the Bangles, the Long Ryders and the Three O’Clock.

“The Days of Wine and Roses” has gone on to be a touchstone album, its feedback-drenched, drone-heavy songs drawing fans as varied as Yo La Tengo (which regularly has done a searing version of “Halloween”), Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes and crime novelist and TV writer George Pelecanos.  

The band went through a number of iterations across four studio albums, but after going through the A&M Records’ ringer during a particularly bad time and then landing at the fading indie Enigma, Wynn and the band split.

In the years that followed, Wynn continued as a singer and songwriter with dozens of solo albums (some with backing group the Miracle 3). Most prominently, he teamed with R.E.M.’s Mike Mills and Peter Buck and others to form the Baseball Project, which  performs songs only about America’s pastime.

In 2012, a reformed Dream Syndicate toured to celebrate three decades of “The Days of Wine and Roses,” and the group has continued to perform road gigs. In the fall, the band will embark on a European tour. Joining Duck will be longtime Dream Syndicate bassist (and Miracle 3 member) Mark Walton and guitarist Jason Victor.

The forthcoming Anti- album doesn’t have an official release date or a title, but Wynn has written a statement on the Dream Syndicate’s website that says it’ll come out in September. 

It reads, in part: “What can we tell you about our new record?

“”Well, let’s see. It’s true to our history, a bounty of gifts for everyone who’s been there since the old days and yet unlike anything we ever did before. It’s a post-millennial existential screed that feels like RIGHT NOW and at the same time a timeless joyous thrill ride. It’s psychedelic, it’s rocking, it’s garage, it’s classic, it’s indie and it’s even a soul and jazz record in the most literal sense, a sonic and emotional journey to the deepest recesses of your mind. It’s what we do on stage and yet it’s brand new. Most of all, we dig it. A lot.”

Until it arrives, here is the reformed band performing the song “The Days of Wine and Roses” in 2014.

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