Published Jun 07, 2016Brooklyn guitarist Steve Gunn has appeared on 14 full-length albums in his nearly decade-long career, including seven of his own; he's perhaps best known for his recent work with Kurt Vile. Eyes on the Lines, Gunn's eighth release, continues to make a case for Steve's well-earned but unsung place in six-string history.
The lyrics paint the impression of a man of movement and fluidity, two characteristics that aptly describe Gunn's incredible guitar work. The production on the album changes little from song to song, giving the feel that it was recorded live off the floor. Distinct, satisfying guitar tone complements each solo and jam here — of which there are plenty — and provide a whole new layer of indulgence for the listener, as Gunn plays with delay, chorus and whirling Leslie speaker-type effects.
A thread of psychedelia weaves through each track on the album, while some songs, like "Park Bench Smile," pay homage to jam-band experimentation and dig much deeper into Gunn's mind-bending guitar mastery. Tracks such as "The Drop" and "Conditions Wild" could easily have fallen straight out of the early '70s.
Eyes on the Lines is unmistakably a guitarist's album, yet luckily for most, Gunn's song writing is also remarkably accessible. The listener may not find themselves with catchy vocal hooks stuck in their head after a first listen, but they'll definitely be humming riffs and guitar lines for several hours afterward. (Matador)