Tuesday, 9 November 2010

16 Horsepower

Back in 2000 I was watching Pinkpop coverage on TV and saw this:

American Wheeze

It gave me goosebumps and I was incredibly intrigued. I learned the band was called 16 Horsepower but kind of forgot about them, or maybe I was kind of turned off by the fact that they were religious (c'mon, I was an angry 14-year old!). So even though I never forgot their name, they remained in my list of bands-to-check-out-properly, and never moved to the bands-I-love. That is, until last year. I was in my favourite local record store and I was bored and wanted to buy something, so I decided to get some 16 Horsepower. I bought their live album Hoarse. I think it stayed in my CD player for about two months, and I must've played it twice every day. It was a proper musical revelation for me. There is something so incredibly intense yet creepy about their music, and I love David Eugene Edwards's voice so much even though he scares me. They are now definitely in my top 5 favourite bands and I think I listen to one of their albums every week (favourite is definitely Sackcloth 'n' Ashes).

I think it's a genre of music (apparently called "gothic americana") that is certainly not for everyone, as it's quite creepy and disheartening (but strangely comforting to me), and perhaps some people will not enjoy DEE's voice. But, to me they are one of the best bands ever. I wish I would've only realised this sooner so I could've seen them live. Anyway, here are some of my favourites songs by them:

Scrawled in Sap

Black Soul Choir

Beyond the Pale

South Pennsylvania Waltz (live)

They are also responsible for my favourite cover song ever: Joy Division's Day of the Lords. You'd think Joy Division were depressive and creepy, but they're Disney-material compared to 16 Horsepower (although I may be biased because I don't actually like Joy Division):


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