Mp3 @ 192 kbps -90 MB´
16 Horsepower may very well be the best live show around today. Onstage, they deliver an intensity that has nothing to do with pyrotechnics or flash of any kind and everything to do with the band's (especially singer/songwriter David Eugene Edwards') vision. The music is at once visceral and diaphanous, smacking you in the gut, then retreating like fog when you turn your head. The ghosts of Appalachia are here, as is the spirit of Leadbelly and any Chatauqua tent preacher. Demons (worldly and otherwise) babble and shriek and tempt, the voice of God is hard to hear and harder to follow, but always just in front and just behind you as you listen. And these polar extremes are always contained within all of us - that is the genius of the message brought home by seeing 16HP live. It's not a unique idea that all people consist of good and evil impulses, but watching Edwards bent over the microphone and banjo or accordion, you FEEL it in the same way that looking at film footage of an earthquake is different from watching the plaster crack in your apartment while you listen to that unbelievable low tearing noise that no truck or train or man-made sound could match.
"Hoarse" is the next best thing to seeing the band live. Though 16 Horsepower have no "hits" in the money-driven, radio sense of the word, this disc is loaded with much of their best material: Brimstone Rock, Black Soul Choir, Low Estate, American Wheeze and others are given full-throttle treatment.
I've also always maintained that you can tell a great deal about a band by whom they choose to cover, and how well they make the songs they cover their own. On "Hoarse", 16 Horsepower prove no less formidable in this respect: versions of songs by Joy Division, The Gun Club, and Creedence Clearwater Revival are indications of the band's diverse influences. And what versions they are! "Bad Moon Rising" is transformed from a major-key uptempo folk-rocker in the hands of Fogerty into a creepy, minor key backwoods warning. Lines like "hope you are quite prepared to die" and "one eye is taken for an eye" have a menacing, this-is-just-around-the-corner feel that sounds like it should have always been there in the song. Frankly, if you look just at the words of the tune, it's easy to imagine 16 Horsepower's terrifying rendition being the music that should have accompanied them in the first place.
The best bands have always presented a unique view of the world which draws you in and leaves you no other way to relate to the world for the duration of the music. Afterwards, some of that vision becomes part of your own, and you are changed forever. Sixteen Horsepower are the sound of the crossroads, and this disc is a perfect introduction.
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