12 Songs, 1 Hour 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After their lauded 1982 debut The Days of Wine and Roses on Ruby Records, the Dream Syndicate signed to A&M where producer Sandy Pearlman helped hone their chops for five months before rolling tape. Their 1984 sophomore album was inevitably panned by the contingent of critics who favor most bands’ indie recordings over polished production but in their defense, Medicine Show almost sounds like a different band — which isn’t a bad thing. The former conceived a hypothetical scenario where a newly electrified Dylan goes head-to-head with Velvets-era Lou Reed, but Medicine Show veers from so much ‘60s adoration to mix in the then-relevant tones of early ‘80s radio — and now in the 21st century the blend of ‘60s and ‘80s makes songs like opener “Still Holding On To You” sound more “paisley underground” than anything by peers like the Long Ryders or Green On Red. Still, songs like the nine-minute “John Coltrane Stereo Blues” sound swayed by post-punk with its cold mix, angular arrangements and skronky guitars, while the dark and twangy title track keeps things even more unpredictable.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After their lauded 1982 debut The Days of Wine and Roses on Ruby Records, the Dream Syndicate signed to A&M where producer Sandy Pearlman helped hone their chops for five months before rolling tape. Their 1984 sophomore album was inevitably panned by the contingent of critics who favor most bands’ indie recordings over polished production but in their defense, Medicine Show almost sounds like a different band — which isn’t a bad thing. The former conceived a hypothetical scenario where a newly electrified Dylan goes head-to-head with Velvets-era Lou Reed, but Medicine Show veers from so much ‘60s adoration to mix in the then-relevant tones of early ‘80s radio — and now in the 21st century the blend of ‘60s and ‘80s makes songs like opener “Still Holding On To You” sound more “paisley underground” than anything by peers like the Long Ryders or Green On Red. Still, songs like the nine-minute “John Coltrane Stereo Blues” sound swayed by post-punk with its cold mix, angular arrangements and skronky guitars, while the dark and twangy title track keeps things even more unpredictable.

TITLE TIME

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