Steve Gunn presents a sun-strained album of American songcraft, big on invented characters and the natural environment. The band he’s managed to assemble here is impressive: Norman harp favourite Mary Lattimore for starters, but also major talents like Nathan Bowles and Hans Chew. Eyes On The Lines is out on Matador Records.
Vinyl LP £16.99 OLE10901
LP on Matador in deluxe tip-on sleeve.
- Includes download code
CD £7.99 OLE10902
CD on Matador.
Steve Gunn's previous 'Way Out West' was where he crossed over from serial guitar twiddler to full on laid back singer songwriter guy. 'Eyes on the Lines' is where he takes that move further into territory that is both conventional and a bit dull at times. There are still plenty of things to enjoy, the guitar playing is superb throughout and Gunn pans the duelling guitars so when you listen on headphones each ear is treated to it's own guitar. This gives a lovely intricate feel to the likes of album highlights 'Conditions Wild' and the sleepy 'Nature Driver'. This is music that takes it's time, the vocals are laid back to the point of nodding off and the songs drift on charmingly.
However, I feel on several occasions that Gunn is sleep walking towards disaster, 'Heavy Sails' is edging ever so slowly towards Clapton-esque bluesy indifference and there is a muso-ness evident in some of the tracks. Certainly opener 'Ancient Jules' would be at home on a dusty old 70s edition of 'Old Grey Whistle Test'. This laid back charming countrified rock has to be careful not to become too polished otherwise Robert Cray has some serious competition on his hands.
9/10 Gareth 3rd June 2016
The weather might be indifferent right now, but Summer's definitely here in the shape of Steve Gunn's eagerly awaited long player!
Unmistakeable for sure but the sound is changing, more rounded, the song structures slightly more (dare I say) conventional. There's a progression going on from the last couple of (excellent) albums. Nothing is lost though. Gunn is a clever musician.
Way Out Weather was brilliant, this is better.
This is a belter of an LP (or CD) , just buy it, thank me later.
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