Steve Gunn - "Conditions Wild" (Singles Going Steady)

Steve Gunn's "Conditions Wild" is a pretty slice of psychedelic power pop.

Steve Horowitz: For some of us, the sound of slacker alt rock with an electric guitar lead and mumbled lyrics recalls the early '80s heyday of such music. Hence here is nostalgia for those to young to experience the initial reality through the act of imagination. The pleasant nature of the melody and the way the words come off more as sounds suggests the way in which one sees the world as a place of adventure. The song works as an exploration into a not-so-strange world, and as such the video successfully captures the song’s sensibility. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: Starting with effects-heavy guitar that sounds like a trippier version of Roger McGuinn, "Conditions Wild" is a pretty slice of psychedelic power-pop. Guitars of all stripes make appearances throughout the song, which is a nice touch. There's a minor-key Beatlesque feel to the tune, even a bit of '80s college radio not unlike something R.E.M. would crank out in their earlier days. Gunn is clearly calling on a wide variety of influences for this song, resulting in a strong tune. [7/10]

Emmanuel Elone: "Conditions Wild" is a pretty good rock tune with just a hint of psychedelic flare. The guitar effects accentuate the dense instrumentation, and the entire song transitions seamlessly from verse to chorus to bridge as it progresses. Steve Gunn's vocals are a bit too laid-back and hidden, and the song itself gets quite repetitive by the latter half of the song, but otherwise "Conditions Wild" is a good rock song with a lot of color and flavor thrown in for good measure. [6/10]

Pryor Stroud: "Conditions Wild" is a set of instructions for obliterating one's comfort zone reified as a mumblecore pasture-rock jam. The psychedelia-tinged guitar zags seem to impel Gunn deeper into a head-spinning reverie with each spiraling lunge it makes, and his voice bears a trace of subtle anxiety in it -- Where am I going? And why? -- that becomes increasingly more perceptible as the track hurtles towards its end. "It's a field guide from the other side / Beyond the path you know," he sings, "Simple plan of conditions wild / The diagram will show", but the melodic guitar fulmination of the chorus contradicts him, casting out an image of a overgrown wilderness -- topographical or psychological, it doesn't matter -- that no diagram could adequately capture. [7/10]

Chad Miller: The guitar part is really exciting. It adds a lot of character to the vocals, and it really shines when it gets the melody. This is especially important as a lot of the time, Gunn's vocals seem to fade into the music. He never really brings them out as much as I'd like. [7/10]

Steve Gunn's debut album, Eyes on the Lines, releases June 3rd via Matador Records.

SCORE: 7.00

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