Review of The Day Before Wine And Roses

by Federico Guglielmi
issued on Rumore #34 (December 1994)

Among the myths of the American music of the eighties, that of The Dream Syndicate is certainly one of the most deeply heart-felt by all who saw in the "creative" recovery of the roots, the only way out for a rock otherwise condemned to self-celebration: backed up by a musical inspiration of rare brightness and by an interpretative disposition, shameless at the right moment, indeed, the LA band succeeded in praising its devotion to Velvet Underground, blues and acid psychedelia into a sound quivering with vitality and passion, evocative at its evident calls to past but enough modern to escape trap of barren revival.
The recordings of this compact, made on Sept. 5th 1982, live at the studio of KPFK Radio, date back to a period in which the quartet still showed the original line-up (Steve Wynn on vocals & guitar, Kendra Smith on bass, Karl Precoda on guitar, Dennis Duck on drums) and assaulted the stalls with a repertoire much more rough and visionary than the one that their next incarnation would have produced; The Day Before Wine And Roses probably offers the most exuberant and effective sample of it, aligning Some Kinda Itch, Sure Thing, That's What You Always Say, When You Smile, John Coltrane Stereo Blues (still entitled Open Hour), Mr. Soul by Buffalo Springfield, Season Of The Witch by Donovan, Outlaw Blues by Bob Dylan and a wild, hallucinated The Days Of Wine And Roses: nine extraordinary episodes (only three of them already issued on the undiscoverable UK 12inch Tell Me When It's Over by now) out of magnetism and violence, and a wonderful concert we wish we were at.
Lost this occasion for ever, it would be really a pity you miss the opportunity of listening to it too.

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