I remember back in the 80s, around the same time REM became media darlings another band was releasing records that I felt were just as good as anything Stipe and company put out. But while REM hit the big time, The Dream Syndicate never quite managed to win over the airways in the same way. The other day I put on 1982’s The Days of Wine and Roses and was blown away by how good of an album it is and how well it stands up 32 years later. I used to listen to that record a lot!
Perhaps The Dream Syndicate were just a little too punk, with the distorted jangle of guitars and Steve Wynn’s growl, opposed to Peter Buck’s more melodic, acoustic sound and Michael Stipe’s distinctive nasal execution. I’m not saying that REM shouldn’t have enjoyed the success that they did, I am a fan, but listening to The Dream Syndicate proves that success is a lottery win; sometimes your numbers just come up. Perhaps Steve Wynn looks back and says: “I coulda been a contender”.