The Dream Syndicate were once on a par with R.E.M. as revivers of 60s rock’s dark and pretty essences in the hostile 80s. Their small, fervent cult stayed steady enough to encourage a live reunion in 2012 with rejigged personnel, and now this first album since 1988.
Band leader Steve Wynn is a fine solo songwriter. 80 West is nasty LA noir with a body surely in the boot, haunted by Mickey Spillane’s Kiss Me Deadly and Mulholland Drive; in contrast, Like Mary is a quiet vignette of breaking lives, mourning a woman who wants to get lost. This band, though, offer something he can’t find elsewhere. You can hear it in the creepy, lovelorn surrealism of Filter Me Through You’s hazy dream-pop. Then the eleven minute title track, with its ruefully fated protagonist, spidery keyboards, jaggedly interlocked parts and mantric end, proves decisively that this Dream isn’t over.