Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review: Windings - It's Never Night

Initially a Giveamanakick side project Windings has grown into a fully fledged entity in its own right and roared into life with the release of debut album 'It's Never Night.' A mix of quizzical sun-pop laments and stony grey fables.

Lil' Hands is a beautiful thought provoking Super Furry Animals meets Nick Drake finger picked ballad. Opening lyric "Its my time,I don't want to be someone who regrets spending their life, looking forward to it." Is a moment in the mirror and a platonic call to arms for generation T. 

Perhaps the best song you never heard last year Brain Fluid, was the first single to be taken from the album. Brain Fluid is a pop gem, perfect summer listening. Imagine Nada Surf covering Teenage Fanclub or Belle and Sebastian with Steve's voice a haunting gentle rocket. The guitar work is top notch and the solo is exquisite. This will take some beating. 

There's more than a hint of 'The Colour and the Shape' era Foo Fighters on new single Poor In The Mouth its an uptempo post grunge distorted bass bastard of a song, with excellent guitar work on display with echoes of Weezer and Dinosaur Jnr.  Its just like a Biffy Clyro song with the shit cut out. Apologia is a funeral march by comparison like Spiritualized on a serious acoustic comedown. While the lyrics ponder the existence of the number 42. The self loathing is only broken by the 'Blue Album' style guitar solo which comes, out of the blue.

Pull Me In is a much more palatable dose of down in the dumps, aided extensively by the female backing vocals and the strangely comforting twiddly guitar parts.  Opening lyric"Whats happening now is enough to do me in. I replayed your voice, but it just didn't sound the same. I wanna hear you for real." Delivers an emotion many of us know only too well, wrapped in a blanket of sorrow.

These Horses Also Ran is a summer surrender for fans of Scottish happy/sad specialists and Brit Pop elements such as Blur and Gene. Once again a subtle breeze of backing vocals does just enough to pull you in and keep you glued. An unforeseen extended outro slowly builds into a crescendo, as layered guitars finally achieve overload.

Its back to uptempo guitar frolicking on You Did.  A groovy bassline leads us through a track reminiscent of OkGo and (bizarrely enough), long forgotten androgynous 90's combo Menswear..The classic mathematics of quiet verse/loud chorus see Windings move from a classic jingle jangle sound through to a Jay Mascis wall of sound, with ease. A pretty good bet for single number 3.

Another well executed and thoroughly believable travelogue of a crumbling relationship I can't breathe is underpinned by a repetitious fingerpicked riff.  Steve's voice, is at its gentle best and every word is heartfelt.  Timely and topical, Song of the Doomed is a storybook of emotions a job seeker goes through while reading a rejection letter. It features some truly Irish lyrical wit "Sometimes I feel like life has me beaten, like a redheaded stepchild." 

Final track Old like J sees Windings deliver their last blast of atmospheric folk rock with touches of Nick Drake the song bleeds into an extended guitar melody break which brings 'It's Never Night' to close.

'It's Never Night' is a record with a split personality. On one hand its well groomed swaggering Adonis, on the other hand a manic depressive, who looks in the mirror and see's nothing worthwhile. Men will identify with personality A, while girls will swoon over its grumpy foil, not that he'll notice mind.  Windings is a very rare entity a sideproject with the possibility of surpassing its defunct and fabled forefathers.

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