To coincide with the vinyl release of ‘I am not the crow’ an acoustic set and launch party by Windings happens at Dr. John’s on Thomas St. this Sunday November 18 from 5pm.
Stephen Ryan of Windings spoke to Limerick Post Newspaper………
LIMERICK’S Windings have just released their third album ‘I am Not The Crow’. Windings was originally the solo project of Stephen Ryan, one half of Giveamanakick, the debut album was a compilation of recordings that showed the songwriter’s wide range and potential, by the time ‘It’s Never Night’ came Windings were a full band and a compelling live act. The new record ‘I Am Not The Crow’ is Windings best record yet.
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 in Donegal. It is the sound of a band that has played together for years and focused on making an album that they can stand by for all time. Stephen Ryan and Limerick Post take a look at the making of I Am Not The Crow track by track.
Windings third album starts off with a statement of intent, courage and conviction. The opening track Sun in my Bones clocks in at 8 minutes with a long guitar solo, the kind of track that would be left towards the end of any other album.
Stephen explains, “there was nowhere else for it to go, it was always going to be either the opening song or the closing song and we already had a song in mind to close the album.
It was an intense two days when we were recording the first half of the album in Canada, a lot of jet lag and confusion and ailments. You can hear a jet lagged Patrick O’Brien talking at the start of the record trying to get focused on the recording in the studio, it made the perfect opener for the album.”
Something Outnumbered with vivid imagery in the chorus, “they could a light a fire under here / they could light a fire but I’d burn if I could just stay by your side” is a co-write between Stephen and Patrick, “he came up with these nice chords one day, he emailed a recording to me and within an hour I had emailed back some lyrics. We went from there, it was written in about a day.”
Alkaterian are Alright. “Lyrically it a look back to when I started playing in bands when I was 16″. That band was called Tooth and the title comes from an 8/10 review for Tooth in Metal Hammer. A scanned version of the review that went on the Tooth website included the next headline in the reviews which stated, Alkaterian are Alright.
This is a Conversation. “This is the pop hit”, says Ryan with just a hint of irony, “it has a steely Dan lead guitar part which we based the whole song around, its our favorite song to play live.”
I Am Not the Crow opens side two for those with the vinyl version and was recorded at the Letterkenny sessions. It is an awesome, frenetic kind of song in the Bob Mould mould (sorry! couldn’t resist that). A great guitar noise pop tune with a pulsing wall of sound bringing the title track to a catatonic crescendo. Stephen says, “we went all out on that one, I had this tremolo thing and Liam on bass had a pedal that does the same thing, so we went for it.”
Cleaner was written seven years ago, “I think it is only now we could have done justice to this song musically, I adjusted some of the lyrics and it became relevant again, it is a kind of existential lament.”
In Need of some Repair is a short instrumental refrain from the opening track. It was recorded on a very broken piano by Stephen in Tango Studios in Montreal while the rest of the band was having lunch. The very same piano, as it happens, that you hear on the debut albums from Arcade Fire and God Speed You Black Emperor.
Local Broken Man is the last track on the album and the most recent track written for the record. “We like to play the songs live before recording them so there was a bit of trepidation about this one but I’m delighted with the way it turned out, exactly as I had it in my head.
For this album Windings had never rehearsed so much before recording, the recording sessions happened over 2 days in Donegal and 2 days in Montreal. Having rehearsed every song within an inch of their life, the songs were played as live in the studios, played over and over till the band got the perfect takes. Stephen says, “I had never recorded that way before, the modern accepted way is to record the drums, add the bass, then the guitars etc but we went in there and played as a band. That’s what you hear on ‘I am not the Crow’, a band interacting and making great music.
Stephen concludes, “the band are together a long while now and nobody is second guessing each other, everybody knows what they want to bring to each song, its a great environment to play music in, we are all enjoying the shit out of it”.
I Am Not The Crow is on release for download now on Bandcamp. A vinyl picture disc of I Am Not The Crow is available now and it will come with a free download. To coincide with the vinyl release an acoustic set is planned for Dr. John’s on Thomas St. on Sunday November 18. The band will be touring from November 17 culminating in a full band hometown gig on December 26.
A DJ set well worth checking out is the Ibiza Rocks set from Limerick’s John Kelly. JK has always had the knack of combining his love of House and Indie music into a credible DJ set. This set mixes dance music that rocks with indie sounds that make you wanna dance. This Ibiza Rocks set is quite similar to his Saturday night set in an indie club in Ennis. John explains, “Nearly every track here is a personal edit/mix to get them into the time frame without, I hope!!, messing up the track’s fluidity, the edits and samples were burned to 3 CDs, three hotcued CDJ MK3s/a DJM 600 and some very annoyed neighbours later … here we are … If in 30mins time you have a smile on your face … it’s job done.”
Windings have released their second album but in truth this is more of a new beginning for the band as so much has changed since Steven Ryan made the debut album also called ‘Windings’. In 2005 Windings was a side project for the Givamanakick singer/guitarist, that rightly received warm reviews for it’s simple melodic beauty and contrasted deeply with GAMAK’s trashy, hardcore, punk noise roller-coaster ride.
Today Windings is a band and a collaborative setup with guitarists Liam Marley, Patrick O’Brien and drummer Aaron Mulhall all adding extra musical muscle to what has been the most anticipated record release around these parts in recent times.
The new album makes a very understated and gentle entrance with ‘Lil Hands’ before making way for the familiar ‘Woo’ of summer single ‘Brain Fluid’ all perfect harmonies and gorgeous guitar playing.
‘Poor in the Mouth’ has it all and ticks all the right boxes. Classic rock intro? Check. Un-du-da. De-un-du-da rock solid swing beat? Check. Power chord riffamania? Check. Guitar bending discordance? Check. Bass solo? Check. Sweet chorus sitting pretty over droning racket? Check. Poor in the Mouth is a certified rock monster!
‘These horses also ran’ is melancholy on an epic scale. Played in two parts, first setting the scene where people are led out of their homes in a zombie like nightmare, “barely alive, weak and tired, doped up and slow” where “expressions are empty, this is an all-time low” then fading into the album’s pivotal 3 minutes and thirty seconds as guitars build, marshalled by military drumming to an eventual cacophony that takes ‘These horses also ran’ to a summit that only the likes of Kevin Shields or Thurston Moore conquer.
Much of ‘It’s Never Night’ is melancholic and sparse in tone wrapped in almost there, wistful sounds alongside moments of explosive, sublime rock ‘n’ roll. The album’s closing track ‘Old Like J’ is reflective and inspired by J Mascus, indeed the guitar solo on ‘You did’ screams in loving tribute to the old Dinosaur Jr axeman.
‘It’s Never Night’ can be gloomy at times, as on ‘Song of the doomed’ something that didn’t happen on the first album, which remains this reviewer’s favourite, also on Out on a Limb Records, but ‘It’s Never Night’ lives up to some lofty expectations and Limerick’s most intriguing collective has delivered more than enough to ensure we will eagerly wait to see what Windings do next.
Brain Fluid (Windings) by noelhogansoloprojects
Shortlisted for The XFM New Music Award and now also one of 10 nominees for The Choice Music award for their eponymously titled debut album, And So I Watch You From Afar, hail from Belfast and have been playing together for the last four years. Rory “The Chip” Friers and Tony “The Grounded Pounder” Wright on guitars, Jonathan “The Bearded Dragon” Adger on bass and Chris “The Bigs” Wee on drums released this monster in April 2009. From the album opener ‘Set Guitars to Kill’, this is ferocious stuff, layers and layers of noise and melody. To these ears this is the most thrilling racket to come out of the north since first hearing Therapy? play ‘Meat Abstract’. As a live show this will be mindblowing and it’s coming to Limerick on Thursday 11th Feb with guests Maslow and Hope is Noise. Their motto: “We are the bull, you are the china shop” . Their new EP, ‘Letters’ will be released on 08/02/10 featuring ‘S Is For Salamander’. See them play ‘Set Guitars to Kill’ here on the blog limerickpost.ie/music
The race is now on to find the Meteor Awards most promising New Artist 2010, at this point in the competition the public vote will decide which acts/bands progress to the next round. There is plenty of Limerick based representation looking for your votes at this stage with Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, Supermodel Twins, Seneca, Walter Mitty & The Realists all in the bands category and Theme Tune Boy fighting the good fight in the solo category. The closing date for Round 1 is this Thursday 28th January and you can make your choices by clicking on to http://meteormusicawards.meteor.ie/competitions/complist/#band.
Up for grabs for the winners are live performances on the New Band Stage3 at Oxegen 2010 and on Pop 4 on TG4 plus CD design, mastering and radio/PR distribution. Vote soon and vote often.
The debut EP from The Rubberbandits is available now. Titled ‘ DRAWING PICTURES OF EACH OTHER SMOKING FAGS’, it draws from both aspects of their adventure so far with live favorites, Bag of Glue, Up Da Ra, Pure Awkward and Antney’s Eye interspersed with phone prank classics The Wasp, The Bank and The Psychotherapist. Its available from Empire Music for 10euro. If you missed their Christmas gig, Paul Tarpey has witten an excellent review on the Cheebah blog here
The Irish Music Rights Organisation awarded Dolans Warehouse the Live Music Venue of the Year Award for Munster
Venues were judged on a number of criteria including ambience, staging, sound and lighting facilities, diversity of programming, venue staff and management and promotional activities. This award is decided by members of the 7,000 strong IMRO organization and confirms Dolan’s reputation among musicians for friendly and professional service. As any road-weary touring act will tell you, a warm welcome and a good meal invariably translates into a quality gig experience for artists and punters alike.
Also nominated in the Munster Category were: INEC, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Cyprus Avenue, The Everyman Theatre & The Pavilion, all in Cork.
Neil Dolan was delighted with the win. stating, “We were up against some tough competition, so to all the staff, promoters and bands, thanks a million. This is for all of us.”