You’ve probably never heard of Limerick band Windings despite ‘I’m Not The Crow’ being their third LP. The cringeworthy cover and nonsensical title are highly deceptive. At a glance of the album cover and a read of the name the first impression is: Awful Irish Metal Band. This is not the impression the listener gets once they hit the play button. The album offers an incredibly eclectic mix of songs with a vast range between melodious folk-flavoured rock and harder sounding, more alternative tunes. There is a typically Irish nature surrounding this album; clouding troublesome feelings with a delighted exterior.
There is certainly a subterfuge theme among these songs; cheerful melodies cleverly distract from much darker lyrics. The album opens with the sombre Sun on my Bones. The heart wrenching tones can be likened to a desolate soul, fed up with being fed up. It is a gentle, spine-tingling tune; seamless with reeling guitar and cry-help lyrics. Something Outnumbered is another pessimistic number; it is reflective and moving although it is not as intensely emotional as the predeceasing song. Rather than the lamenting feelings being dominant, they simmer beneath what is a beautiful, seductive arrangement of instruments. Local Broken Man is another track that is intended to pull on the listeners heart-strings with weighted lyrics hidden behind a curtain of delicate and touching music. It is reminiscent of Blur’s This is A Low in that it’s echoing nature and down-and-out sentiment both comfort and unsettle the listener. Title track I am not the crow unyieldingly shows the way in which this band can flex itself into other genres. The aforementioned tracks are hauntingly beautiful, while this song has a definite taste of anguish. It is thrashing and heavy with doses of ’90s post-grunge angst thrown in; an archetypal alt-rock song. Without a doubt, however, the strongest track on this album of eight fantastic numbers is lead single This is a conversation. It is a chanting number; likely to become an anthem given the deserved radio-airplay. With tough power chords, thunderous drumming and apoplectic vocal styling this song is a rush compared to the slower paced offerings.
This is one of those albums that are easy to get excited about when listening to them the first time, and one that you feel you have been listening to all your life the 2nd, 3rd, 4th… It is filled with a surge of raw emotion whether intense anger, bleak loneliness or absolute desolation. From songs that are so emotionally strong they feel like a blow to the chest, to others that instill in the strolling, MP3-gripping listener a sense of purpose in their stride. Although it is only October, it could be very truthful to say that this is one of the best Irish albums of the year.