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on 8 February 2002
Awesome guitar playing from Carl Precoda. Steve Wynn sings hauntingly. The whole thing hangs together brilliantly, even if the obvious debt to VU is apparent. At the time, they were touring on a double bill with REM and blew REM off the stage
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on 16 August 2010
Released in 1982, the Dream Syndicates debut is an outstanding piece of music. The dramatic tension and introverted lyricism that pervades the album is reminiscent of the work of Television, Talking Heads and the Go-Betweens amongst others. However, their overall sound is nevertheless distinctive and original. The harmonies are somewhat unsettling and abrasive and the lyrics tell stories of alienation, depravity and terror that reflect a kind of raw realism.

They were not only the first band of the 1980s to comment on the nightmares of their generation in the manner of Lou Reed and Bob Dylan, but they were unquestionably the best. Their exceptional achievement was to conflate this neo-Reed-ian-Dylan angst with the sounds of the new-wave and bridge them with the emerging pyschedelic revival of the period. So although the sound of the band belonged to the pyschedlic revival of those years, it transcends it, resulting in distinctive vibrant energized licks.

'Tell Me When It's Over' is a beautifully constructed melodic ballad in which guitar patterns weave amongst rapid-fire drum patterns.

'Definetly Clean' pounds a maniacal rhythmic beat amid clipped guitars and whelping vocals.

The controlled pace continues with 'That's What You Always Say'. Hynotic riffs propel the song forward with purpose.

'Then She Remembers' is an hallucegenic trip of frantic drumming accompanying swirling jingle jangle guitars.

'Halloween' features some fine solo guitar work. The lyrical refrain "Don't believe anything you see on tv cos they'll never happen to you" reflects the cynical response to the saturated media-age.

'When You Smile' opens up with a blast of guitar feedback followed by opening lines that echo the Velvets: "Last night I dreamt I was born a thousand years ago". The song is a crescendo of smooth and rough.

'Until Lately' nods towards the Blues/Beat of Manfred Mann or Them's 'Baby Please Don't Go', whilst 'Too Little Too Late' is a fatal swoon in the mould of Nico.

The closing 'The Days Of Wine And Roses' is an epic tour de force of punkabilly Hoedown and sinister psychotic hyper-realism.

'Days Of Wine And Roses' is one of the key albums of the 1980s.
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VINE VOICEon 1 November 2003
Absolutely stunning blast of often flat out jangling, raging, sulking, lettered, post-Velvets, wiry, lean and tight melodic rock that includes the best use of feedback to convey tension and menace until Thin White Rope made an entire career of doing the same. Sits closer to Gun Club 'Fire Of Love' than 'Paisley Underground' Byrds and Love band types. Someone should release this again. Embarrassingly good for its time and still gigantic against almost anything else in this genre.
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on 7 March 2012
If you like Dream Syndicate you'll probably already have this - if not you should check them out. One of the best, if under-rated, guitar sounds around at the time and the drumming is worthy of a special mention. If you like clean, well-pressed vinyl then this will be a real bonus. Highly recommended by comedian Stewart Lee btw.
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on 3 January 2016
I'd just my wife to be when this came out and was feeling a bit to adult but this reaffirmed my love of noises guitar rock.
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on 19 April 2015
Bought this as a student. Little to like now.
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