Steve Gunn: Eyes on the Lines (Matador) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, July 9th, 2020  

Steve Gunn

Eyes on the Lines


Jun 02, 2016 Issue # 57 - M83 Bookmark and Share

Steve Gunn's virtuosity as a guitarist has made him an in-demand hired hand both in and out of indie rock circles for over a decade, and only in recent years has he defined himself as a raga-influenced singer/songwriter. Eyes on the Lines could be called his first LP as the leader of a straight-up rock-and-roll band, but you'd never guess that from his effortless swagger.

Both the intense beauty of wasted time and a restless, innate need to drive ahead inform Gunn's music. These seemingly oppositional forces manage to coexist here without causing any discernible tension, instead creating a sense of mellow forward motion that's never in danger of slowing to a halt or running off the road. From stunning opener "Ancient Jules" through "Ark," a closer that condenses all the fleeting beauty of southwestern skies into five minutes of billowing folk rock, a feeling of leisurely yet ceaseless locomotion persists.

With clear eyes and a keen mind, Gunn perceives a world of open pavement and desert voids populated by mystics and burnouts. His hypnotic road trip mantras and offhanded philosophical observations ("landscape, a constant rhythm") have more in common with Two-Lane Blacktop than anything on classic FM radio. Gunn possesses a formidable knowledge of Americana, but plays like he's empowered by what's come before, rather than merely informed by it. Perhaps no one else currently working in this idiom can so successfully make the past feel like a stopover on a forward-looking route rather than a roadblock. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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