Dream Syndicate - The Universe Inside - 2LP
When one thinks of the Dream Syndicate, it’s not just the wild abandon with which singer/guitarist Steve Wynn, drummer Dennis Duck, bassist Mark Walton, and lead guitarist Jason Victor perform – it’s the carefully constructed songwriting of Wynn that comes to mind. By now every rock critic in the country has predetermined who he or she feels Wynn reminds them of and what they think of that style of songs. This time, don’t! Which brings us to The Universe Inside.
Every article or review ever written will claim “this is new and different” – well, it is! Just look at the song lengths: 20:27, 7:36, 8:56, 9:55 and 10:53. Ok, sure – the Syndicate have occasionally committed a long song to vinyl, “John Coltrane Stereo Blues” was 9 minutes with live versions over the ten-minute mark.
For the first time, every song is a group songwriting effort. What seeps in are Dennis Duck’s knowledge of European avant-garde music , Jason Victor’s passion for 70s prog, Mark Walton’s experience in Southern-fried music collectives and Wynn’s love of vintage electric jazz. The dazzling display of album cover artwork alone should clue you into the changes.