Review: Wovenhand – Refractory Obdurate
National Music Reviews
Wovenhand = Tool + 16 Horsepower – Richard Buckner
American gothic David Eugene Edwards plied the indie folk rock of his group 16 Horsepower like a rough-hewn locomotive in a world of diesel-powered grungemobiles. But in a field with many wannabe folkies, Wovenhand—originally intended as a reprieve while 16 Horsepower was on hiatus—have a flavor of the authentic. Edwards plays an 1887 Mandolin-banjo hybrid, among other things, but it’s also gothic and slightly tinged with prog (the band toured with Tool). Besides the personal landscapes of loss typical of country and alt-country, Edwards also interjects the imagery of the spiritual. There are even some noise elements to drive the point home on these songs, some of the darkest he’s written. The personal confessional has been replaced with the song as the dramatization of holy writ—a meditation on how to live one’s life, and the fact that the answers aren’t easy is a mark of his honesty. –Stakerized!