Steve Gunn already has an impressive track record between his sizable solo catalog, his work with contemporary Kurt Vile, and his casual roadside run-ins with Michael Chapman. And now he’s adding to that extensive discography with a new album from Gunn-Truscinski Duo, his aptly named collaboration with drummer John Truscinski. Sneak peaks “Flood And Fire” and “Seagull For Chuck Berry” foreshadowed Bay Head as a mix of homages and meditations that eclipses the need for vocal narration, as underscored by this statement from Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon:
If I were forced to put what John and Steve play into a genre I would simply call it “music.” There’s a quality of timelessness to it without being nostalgic that is impossible to manufacture. It comes from their years of playing together based on a formula of chemistry. Bands are fragile ecosystems. The best ones have a melding that results in a musicality that otherwise can’t be found in a melody or lyric, or an effect pedal. While Bay Head is the third record the duo has recorded together, John has played drums and helped shape the songs and the sound on all Steve’s more song-configured albums. Their bond is tight, unique, and effective.
As an instrumental record Bay Head has no literal voice. It doesn’t need it, as the constant flow between the drums and guitar describe fully and without a narrator. Steve’s guitar leads you along a contemplative path that describes an inner monologue that is more expressive than if there were words. Some of the guitar parts are worked out and then set free, improvised in the playing. But it’s hard to tell. It all sounds deliberate. Bay Head is the accumulation of the duo’s years of playing music together where each can guess where the other is going to go next. The cover collage by their longtime friend Bill Nace reflects what is both abstract and figurative about this unique musical collaboration.
Stream Bay Head below.
Gunn-Tuscinski Duo have a couple tour dates coming up with body/head:
01/20 Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
10/21 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
Bay Head is out 11/3 on Three Lobed. Pre-order it here.