Steve Wynn continues to deny the VU influence.
Steve Wynn continues to deny the VU influence.

Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3

Steve Wynn apparently has spent a pile of cash on home renovations. After listening to his latest CD, it's obvious that he added on a cavernous garage. Hunkered down with his backing trio, Wynn adds fresh batteries to the fuzz box, hauls a Hammond B-3 and Farfisa out of the closet, cranks up the guitars, and layers smart, compelling lyrics on top.

The appropriately titled ...tick...tick...tick is a sonic time bomb that had been silently lying dormant until Wynn figured out the best way to tap into the stripped-down elemental sound and sweat equity he poured into Dream Syndicate during the '80s. And certainly Wynn isn't bashful when it comes to foraging through old record collections. "Cindy, It Was Always You" harks back to the days when Montreal's the Haunted (arguably the grandfathers of garage rock) wrote their seminal boy-meets-hooker love song "1-2-5." "Freak Star" is something Iggy Pop left off his Brick by Brick record. Other songs summon up images of Crazy Horse, Ziggy Stardust and even Derek & the Dominos and more often than not, the tunes disappear into a frenzy of feedback, with multiple, simultaneous lead breaks crashing into one another, culminating in the trippy jam of "No Tomorrow."

When Wynn finished his second Miracle 3 album and showcased it at South By Southwest in 2004, the moody material didn't gel with the raw energy that drummer Linda Pitmon and guitarist Jason Victor create on stage. Somewhere before the band's latest trip to Tucson to record this little weapon of musical destruction, the light bulb went off, and Wynn came up with a sound that lets the performance dictate the tempo, which, in this case, is furious. Wynn puts it pretty well himself, suggesting that, compared to his other two Miracle 3 CDs, this one is "harder, sicker, freakier and more hopped up on goofballs."


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