16 Horsepower - Secret South

Tuesday 1st August 2000
16 Horsepower - Secret South
16 Horsepower - Secret South

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 2369-27561
LABEL: Glitterhouse GRCD480

Reviewed by Peter Bate

Bellowing, "Give my conscience a poundin'/Come an' shake my ground Lord with the sound of heaven's houndin'," David Eugene Edwards is a man possessed on the throat-throttling opener of this remarkable album. The grandson of a Nazarene preacher and son of a lapsed preacher-turned-biker, Edwards' dustbowl tracks of religion, sin and redemption in the Deep South have more in common with Absalom, Absalom or the Grapes Of Wrath than the flashy third millennium. The singer's Nick Cave-like vocals are served up on a skillet of insistent folk (the hurdy gurdy and accordion are popular onstage props) sandblasted by shafts of grinding, fierce rock. His stream-of-consciousness tales seem more God-centred than on the band's previous two A&M albums. Tortuous tales of self-inflicted struggle are eased by a sense of ultimate hope: "I fell upon that rock/I did not die jus' badly broken/ An' in time my healin' it will come yeah by the words that he has spoken/He's beyond the shadow of your doubt an' mine/He's no man's opinion he is truth divine," he exclaims on "Splinters". Sensing things may be getting slightly claustrophobic, the quartet launch into a superb, spirit-lifting cover of Dylan's "Nobody 'Cept You", somehow bottling the joyful essence of newfound salvation. The NME, among many mainstream music mags, can't praise this LP enough. Nor can I. Edwards' gothic, grace-soaked grandeur is intoxicating.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Steve in Atlant, Ga @ 06:33 on Aug 30 2007

Wish I'd found these guys about ten years ago so I could have seen them a few times. The CD's do more for me than even "Uncle Tupelo". Scary good, in both sense of the phrase!

Posted by andy in uk @ 17:51 on Sep 28 2005

this is real music A++++++++++++

a christian and a muscian wowowee how refreshing ....i cant say anuff about this band and u missed them shame on u check out woven hand u do get a second chances

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