I am Not The Crow
(Out On A Limb)
Limerick man Steve Ryan enjoyed some domestic acclaim as one half of the hardcore noiseniks Giveamanakick some years back.
Now that outfit has retired, Ryan is focusing his energies on this fine band, which has recently swelled to a five-piece.
I Am Not The Crow runs to just eight tracks, but there is more scope and invention here than you find on most Irish albums.
The first four tracks – and the penultimate number – were recorded in Montreal with Godspeed You! Black Emperor producer Efrim Menuck and the results are a batch of intoxicating post-rock-meets-indie songs that are likely to sound immense live.
The guitars, in particular, are quite something and there's a virtuosity present that's thrilling.
The single This is Conversation is a barnstorming rock-out and will surely appeal to anyone with a soul – and a heartbeat.
And there is no shortage of commercial moments either, with Alkaterian Are Alright tracing out the power-pop territory vacated by Fountains of Wayne.
But it's on the album's final four tracks that Windings truly show what they're capable of.
The short, fragmentary In Need of Some Repair is built around a plaintive, woozily recorded piano that sounds both haunting and arresting.
The exemplary production on those not helmed by Menuck, incidentally, is courtesy of Villagers' producer and guitarist Tommy McLaughlin.
His work on Local Broken Man is likely to have several bands beating a path to his door.
I Am Not A Crow is a late contender, surely, for the Choice Music Prize.
KEY TRACKS This is Conversation; Local Broken Man