The psychedelics in Windshake’s veins flow strong. For debut album ‘Waking Moment’, the Welsh Bristolian four piece give their listeners space for an hour long trip out of mind. Dare I mention the ‘H’ word? Taking their inspirations into account I’m sure Windshake wouldn’t mind… the album has real hippy vibrations, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear it emanating from an incense and pagan gift shop in Glastonbury town.
One constant is singer, guitarist and main songwriter Sam Elliot’s vocals that resemble Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher, yet the songwriting and musicianship behind the voice bares more familiarity with the classics – The Beatles, Neil Young, Yes.
Opening with an unsettling Max-Headroom aping sample requesting “Let’s all just laugh” and descending into madcap laughter, the tone is set for some far out weirdness, and ‘Saving The Cherry’ becomes an acoustic song blasphemously asking “Is Mary is still saving her cherry for me?”. The lyrical subject matter visits new age themes, ‘Independent Stones‘ comparing humans and their relationships to the distance between ancient standing stones like Stonehenge and Avebury, the ego loss and freedom of the ‘Old Man Of The Desert‘, an “old man hanging naked and free”, the title track centrepiece ‘Waking Moment’ a kundalini experience in and of itself, 9 minutes replete with hypnotic opening verses and transcendent guitar solo.
There are spates of melodic storytelling, ‘Orange Raincoat‘ tells a darkly humorous story “Why did you have to go and shoot yourself in the face, I invited you over, the respect I got was blood in my face?”, spending most time criticising the shooter’s brightly coloured mackintosh overcoat, with strong hints of The Beatles and Primal Scream. ‘Perform Like Rain‘ has jaunty Paul McCartney elements and a Kinks edge, asking “Maybe I should stop living cos it’s living that gets me down” with upbeat organ backing.
Former single ‘Receive Me‘ is a toned down Starman by Bowie with talk of metaphorically receiving messages from a spaceship, unexpectedly merging with a gospel choir. ‘The Big Wheel’ ends with a big, dramatic prog-rock moment, like Yes at their grandest with the world spinning like “the big wheel rolls on and on”.
There are pianos, there are strings, there are big progressive rock moments and there are quiet acoustic ruminations. Amongst it all you can feel the band nudging you on and hoping you’ll have a spiritual awakening of your own.