Brooklyn singer, songwriter, and guitar slinger Steve Gunn makes his Matador debut with Eyes on the Lines, a windblown set of road explorations that, despite its meandering nature, is one of his most accessible records yet. The Pennsylvania native has maintained a prolific output over the previous decade, much of it in the form of one-off projects and collaborations, but his solo releases all seem to spring from the same well of wanderlust. Expanding on the spacious sound of his excellent 2014 LP, Way Out Weather, Eyes on the Lines is more of a free-flowing rock affair, finding Gunn and his band locking into bucolic grooves that take their time to unfurl.
This 1999 release precedes the excellent new recording from perennial prog-rockers King Crimson, titled The ConstruKction of Light. Yet with The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior, electric guitarist and Crimson founder Robert Fripp, touch bassist Trey Gunn and hard hitting drummer Bill Rieflin mesh gears for some truly energetic interplay! Spearheaded by Fripp’s signature style attack consisting of loops, EFX, and sinuous lead soloing along with a keen (if not legendary) sense of the dynamic, the trio pursues booming, driving rhythms and abstract themes amid fiery improvisation and otherworldly effects. Throughout, touch bassist Trey Gunn displays the synergy and intuitiveness exhibited on recent collaborations with Fripp in King Crimson and elsewhere.
Love is strange, all right, and Love Stories is stranger still. Hardly a bouquet of ballads, the album is inspired by “love in all its dysfunction,” as trumpeter Russell Gunn explains in David R. Adler’s revealing liner notes. But don’t leap to logical conclusions. Gunn also points out that “Because I Love You (The Stalker Song)” and “Bitch, You Don’t Love Me” aren’t the residue of some soured love affair. The former has more to do with Hitchcock-ian atmospherics than heartbreak, apparently, and the latter, notes Gunn, is “basically a song about being used.