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8 January 2013

The Dream Syndicate - 'The Days of Wine and Roses' (Ruby)

This is where it comes together perfectly - thick shards of exploratory guitar (psychedelic mode: ON), a frontman with an emerging, distinct rock voice, and  most importantly great songs. The EP showed promise but everything is amped up a notch here; both side 2's open with 'When You Smile' but on Days of Wine and Roses, the first notes indicate that things are more confident than before. It's slower, the echo is there, and the band knows what they are doing. Maybe I've listened to this so many times it's become familiar, but the opening cut ('Tell Me When it's Over') crashes in as an iconic side 1, track 1. Kendra Smith's 'Too Little, Too Late' is hardly the predecessor to Opal you'd think, instead dragging the album down a bit - but maybe it's also a nice counterbalance to Steve Wynn's Verlaine/Reed affectations. There's some spin for you. But I like these affectations, for the Velvets influence is what made this such a defining record of the early 80s, where this music feels out of step with the new wave layers everywhere. And Precoda, Precoda - this guy is like a forgotten guitar god, and he disappeared after this band for years until he re-surfaced briefly in the even more ignored Last Days of May. It will be a long time until we get to the L's, so in the meanwhile we can just put the title track of this record, probably their best song, on infinite repeat and let it take us to forever escapable climaxes.

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