Kirk Windstein is famed in heavy music circles for his tenacity in keeping Crowbar alive since he formed the band in the late 80s as well as for being a staple on the New Orleans, Louisiana music scene. Later bringing his heavy riffing to Down, he stepped away from that band at the height of their popularity to concentrate all of his energy on Crowbar and producing two of the best albums of their career.
All of this extracurricular activity and success may cause some to beg the question as to why he felt the need for a solo release. Recorded sporadically between Crowbar tours and an album release, opening track Dreams in Motion plays through like the kind of great sludge track you would expect from the front man of, arguably, the number one NOLA band currently out there.
Things get interesting from here as Windstein slides into a more mid paced, mid 70s American rock vibe with Hollow Dying Man where clean vocals become the focus as well as cleaner riffs. As the tracks roll out it is obvious that this is a far more considered Kirk Windstein, writing from the place of an older man who hasn’t outlived his anger yet, but is at peace with his past, present, and whatever the future holds for him. It sounds like an album he had to make before the next Crowbar album melted into something like this.
For example, The World You Know is a very slow burner that rues a life lived hard, but shows no regrets for the circumstances that builds character. Toxic follows this slower track with a slightly more up tempo beat and the crunch is back in the guitar and vocals for the first time since the album opener, proving that all the anger hasn’t left our bard yet.
Windstein has always been known for wearing his musical influences on his sleeve, and this album is no different. Closing out with a cover of Jethro Tull’s Aqualung again proves he is not as gruff as he has always been perceived and has plenty of range and great singing voice, he just doesn’t necessarily show it all off.
This album will turn as many listeners away as it will gain. It is more of a Sunday morning listen than a Saturday night one, but once you get yourself past that point of expecting a Crowbar-light album, and let the music get under your skin a bit more, it all comes out like the colours that adorn the cover.
- Dream in Motion
- Hollow Dying Man
- Once Again
- Enemy in Disguise
- The World You Know
- The Healing
- The Ugly Truth