"Tears Won't Help " the first and most radio-friendly of the songs on Steve Wynn's first solo album, Kerosene Man, begins with a churning-burning guitar figure that recalls "Still Holding On to You," a song he wrote for his former group, the Dream Syndicate. The band was one of the best and most noted of the LA psychedelic scene of the early 80s; for a time, in fact, they were the psych-meisters of them all, playing a series of corrosive live shows that showcased the searing guitars of Wynn and pal Karl Precoda. But Wynn's obsessive songs and persona defined the band. His solo album isn't particularly revelatory in any grand fashion a la David Johansen or Lou Reed or (Bob Mould's) Workbook: the surprise is that friendliness, radio or otherwise. "Tears Won't Help" is a major-league charmer, and "Caroline," which follows on its heels, is a similarly engaging sing-along. But this isn't a sellout--there are guitar-burners aplenty here--it's growth. Live he gets obsessive all over again. Tonight, 11: 30 PM, Cabaret Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Howard Rosenberg.