“I’ve hated most things at least once, so maybe now’s the time for some fresh devilry”
From the opening strains of an ancient Canadian harmonium on ‘Sun in my Bones’, the new windings’ record I Am Not The Crow reveals itself as an album full of scope, dynamic musicianship and imagination.
As the eight tracks play out, it also reveals itself as an album in the most meaningful sense of the word – a collection of songs united by a common purpose, each lending itself to the next, adding to the entirety. It’s this notion of what an album should sound like that binds I Am Not The Crow so well.
More than one year was spent on the recording of I Am Not The Crow – its A-side recorded in Montreal’s Hotel2Tango studio and the B-side on the northwesterly coast of Ireland in County Donegal. windings may have brought a little of Canada back to Ireland with them as there are echoes of one of Canada’s greatest ever musicians sprinkled throughout
The classic guitar sound of Neil Young & Crazy Horse surfaces on tracks such as the opener and the magnificent ‘Cleaner’, and there isa traceable lineage from windings to their producer Efrim Menuck (GodspeedYou! BlackEmperor) to one of his great influences, David Briggs, producer of that archetypal Crazy Horse sound.
As any good album should, I Am Not The Crow ebbs and flows in the right places. For the most part a live recording, the spiky side of the band comes through on ‘Alkaterian are Alright’ and ‘This is a Conversation’, while Side Two kicks off with the record’s title track and a song that wouldn’t seem out of place on songwriter Steve Ryan’s previous two-headed hardcore monster, giveamanakick.
The change of pace is followed by a thoughtful brace of tunes in ‘Cleaner’ (whose refrain of “blinded by sound” is a perfect sentiment for the album) and ‘In Need of Some Repair’, before winding it all up with the majestic seven minute closer that is ‘Local Broken Man’.
Albums like this don’t happen without a lot of thought and consideration, emanating from a group of musicians whose collective focus is so obviously on producing a record they could stand by for the rest of their lives. It is meant to be inclusive – a collaboration with the listener that forges something personal with the band.
It’s not an easy task and it is something that maybe takes several albums to get right – but when it clicks, it works beautifully. I Am Not The Crow is the work of a band on top of their game, both in a musical and symbiotic sense. Songwriting at its best.
“Behind broken windows and boarded doors, in the gutters beneath misplaced manhole covers, The brightest light did shine”
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the bands playing The Midnight Hour in the upstairs venue (FREE ENTRY, 12am).