Greywind – Antidote EP

By Katherine Allvey

As the great philosopher Ye once said before he jumped off the deep end of acceptability, ‘that, that, that, that don’t kill me can only make me stronger’. His statement could absolutely be Greywind’s mantra. Irish emo siblings Steph and Paul O’Sullivan simultaneously faced huge amounts of both harsh criticism and critical praise when they released their debut, ‘Afterthoughts’, back in 2017. The dark days of the pandemic hit them hard, and they pledged not to release a second of new music until they’d got the rights to their album back under their control. With the world now back to something approaching business as usual,  and ‘Afterthoughts’ enjoying an upswing in popularity, it seems only right that Greywind are releasing a new EP. ‘Antidote’ is a reflection of all they’ve been through over last seven years and a testament to their desire to survive.

‘Swing And Sway’ is a deceptive opener. From the outside it’s gentle, with riffs reminiscent of britpop-era underdogs Ash or a less hyperactive Hot Milk. But the second you take more than a cursory listen, the track becomes harrowing. Penned by Paul, it’s ‘about me watching Steph be suicidal and in a dark place, and how that affected me. Wondering how I can help her, while also acknowledging the toll it was taking on me to watch her go through that.’ Steph’s wail comes from a place of processing and the fact they’ve made a full blown power tune from such a dark time is astounding.

The O’Sullivans hit their stride with lead single and title track ‘Antidote’. It’s no less dark, but this is like the morning after the sadness has struck, when emotions are now balled up into rage. “I came to watch you die,” snarks Steph over a solid, memorable riff that picks up and drops as she swings in and out of her anger. ‘Glimmer’ is wintry and bleak but sums up the spirit of determination that permeates this EP. You can practically see the marks of clenched fists imprinted on every track. 

Casey Cavaliere masterminded the production for ‘Antidote’, but his influence goes deeper than you’d expect. ‘Deathwish’ is very close to his band, The Wonder Years, at their most nihilistic and having that sound led by a higher-pitched vocal adds an air of righteous fury. There isn’t a resolution to the storytelling on this EP, though, and perhaps that’s the point. ‘You’re My Medicine’ feels like it should offer a consoling message, but its twinkling guitars and waterfalls of distortion only give us more fuel to our fires. We’re left with the feeling that Greywind are not okay, but they’re going to be.

This is the EP for days when you want to throw your laptop out the window and move to a desert island. It’s a gorgeous vent, an eloquent and catchy climb out of the void, and a very exciting omen of Greywind’s return. 

Kate Allvey

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