Album of the Week: The Dream Syndicate – How Did I Find Myself Here?

How Did I Find Myself Here? by The Dream Syndicate
How Did I Find Myself Here? by The Dream Syndicate

Back in the early ‘80s, there was a unique music scene happening in Los Angeles. It wasn’t what was happening on the Sunset Strip and it had nothing to do with hair metal. This community was coined the “Paisley Underground” and it had bands fusing ‘60s psychedelica, classic power pop and early alt-rock to form a peculiar style. Acts like The Bangles and The Three O’Clock were in the forefront of this community along with an act from the 1980s that got back together a few years ago in 2012. The Dream Syndicate (the name an homage to the side project of the 1960s experimental band known as The Theatre of Eternal Music) put out their first album in nearly 30 years with How Did I Find Myself Here? Sep 8 via Anti- Records, and it’s a return to form for a band that can bring the noise. It’s a fantastic fusion of distorted, twangy guitars with a laid-back West Coast vibe.

This incarnation of the band has lead singer and guitarist Steve Wynn joined with longtime drummer Dennis Duck, bass guitarist Mark Walton and lead guitarist Jason Victor. Both Wynn and Victor absolutely shred on guitar while Duck and Walton create rhythms that provide the base for each song. There’s an abundance of energy and charisma from start to finish. There’s no rust either. The Dream Syndicate reintroduce themselves with genuine authority after such a long time away.

There’s always a sense of wonder when it comes to the eras of different music scenes. The ‘60s Haight-Ashbury community in San Francisco was the epicenter of the “Summer of Love” in 1967. Alternative rock found its promised land when the music of Seattle blew up in the early ‘90s. More recently, one could look at Brooklyn’s indie rock scene in the early 2000s, or what’s happening in places like Austin and Chicago in this decade. Where does the scene that The Dream Syndicate came from stand in music history? It’s all up to individual judgment. Feel free to judge and deliberate while checking out my top tracks off of the Album of the Week:


Walton starts “80 West” off with a low and raw bass line, and then a wall of riffs from Wynn and Victor take it all over; Wynn also gets intense when the chorus kicks in. “The Circle” has a progressive structure that lets Wynn and Victor’s guitar skills shine; it’s a driving song that’s up-front and unapologetic. An excellent example of the album’s psychedelic vibe is “Out of My Head” that’s accented by a fuzzed-out tone.

Wynn and the gang are going to be heading to Europe starting Oct 14 at the Rockefeller for an expedition across the Atlantic that’ll last a few weeks. New England music fans can look forward to checking them out at the Once Ballroom in Somerville, MA on Dec 1. Whether you’re seeing them in the United States or in a different country, grab a copy of the new album from The Dream Syndicate. It’ll mesmerize you into plugging in your headphones and it’ll hypnotize you into listening to it over and over again.

Stream How Did I Find Myself Here? by The Dream Syndicate on Spotify:

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