Have You Heard The Dream Syndicate? Not Like This

The Dream Syndicate announced their newest album The Universe Inside in a similar fashion as many acts do: by releasing an advance single and accompanying video. Most advance singles are not, however, 20-minute excursions into hypnotic, panoramic, psychedelic jazz/funk electric euphoria punctuated with evocative, beaten generation lyrics transmitted from what sounds like the unlit bottom floor of a compound buried deep beneath the burning surface, the whole buzz building and erupting into a dizzying climax of swarming sound that leaves you cleansed and confused. Yet that is a somewhat inadequate but still accurate assessment of “The Regulator,” our first taste of the band’s third album in under four years, since their impressive rebirth after a lengthy hibernation with 2017’s How Did I Find Myself Here?

“‘The Regulator’ is a microcosm of the entire record,” explains group founder Steve Wynn. “It was just a formless, trippy mass as we all started playing together. There was an early ’70s drum machine – a Maestro Rhythm King, the same model used on ‘There’s a Riot Goin’ On’ – with [drummer] Dennis [Duck] locking in and setting the pace. [The Long Ryders’] Stephen [McCarthy] grabbed an electric sitar because it was the first thing he saw. [Guitarist] Jason [Victor] and I were kicking pedals on like lab monkeys in a laboratory and [bassist] Mark [Walton] was a lightning rod, uniting all of those elements into one tough groove. I collected a list of random, unconnected lyric ideas that I kept on my phone. I tried them all out in random order in my home studio just to see how they would feel, and that one-take test run is the vocal you hear! There’s just so much lightning-in-a-jar, first take excitement on this record.”

Out April 10 on their present-day home, Anti- Records, every song on The Universe Inside is a group songwriting collaboration for the first time in the band’s history, and aside from vocals, horns and some percussion, every instrument is live as it happened. Come on… take a trip inside.

Photo by Tammy Shine.