Search - Sixteen Horsepower :: Sackcloth

Sixteen Horsepower
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

With its use of banjo, accordion, lap steel, and stand-up bass and its songs about creaking pine porches, shallow graves, prison shoes, and big horses, Sixteen Horsepower would seem to be drawing from the same ancient well...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Sixteen Horsepower
Title: Sackcloth
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Fontana a&M
Original Release Date: 2/6/1996
Release Date: 2/6/1996
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Americana, American Alternative, Contemporary Folk, Folk Rock, Oldies & Retro
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731454041621, 0731454049122, 731454041645

With its use of banjo, accordion, lap steel, and stand-up bass and its songs about creaking pine porches, shallow graves, prison shoes, and big horses, Sixteen Horsepower would seem to be drawing from the same ancient wells of Americana as the Band. The Band, however, handled this tradition from a working-class perspective of Monday morning blues and Saturday night release. By contrast, Sixteen Horsepower takes the leisure-class approach of existentialist angst, bad college poetry, and no release whatsoever. Edwards simply throws evocative phrases together without bothering to make one fit with the other. Such a technique could be called "experimental," but it could also be called "lazy." Drummer Jean-Yves Tola and bassist Keven Soll help Edwards create a spare, agitated, rock & roll string-band sound behind his doom-and-gloom howlings. --Geoffrey Himes

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CD Reviews

You've never heard ANYTHING like this!
jovaldo | 06/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"16 Horsepower is shattering all types ofboundries. Musically, they are one of the most original bands to comeout in the 1990s. Lyrically most people aren't willing to touch these themes with such honesty.16 Horsepower's main component is singer & multi-instrumentalist David Eugene Edwards (who also writes the lyrics.) Edwards plays banjo, guitar, accordian, hurdy-gurdy and probably some other stuff. The other members play bass & drums. These songs deal with religious conviction, temptation, wrestling with one's dark side, hope, and basically the torments of a man looking towards heaven but trapped in an earthly body. The creaky, vintage instruments Edwards uses are the perfect vehicle for his message. And with such a wide range of instrumentation the sounds are extremely varied. Everything from knee-slapping bluegrass to dark, jangly guitars to grinding accordian to old-timey country tinged rock music.This is their first full length album. The two since then "Low Estate" (also available in the USA) & "Secret South" ... are even more amazing because extra members have been added and the sound expanded even more."Sackcloth & Ashes" contains the song "Black Soul Choir," which is the one thing even resembling a hit that the group has had. Its an incredible, hard-driving bluegrass-type tune about man's vanity in this world. Pretty intense stuff.Open, honest, longing and intense are the best ways to sum up 16HP, and they are well worth getting into.If you ever have the chance to see them live: RUN don't walk to buy a ticket! They are even better live. END"
Wonderfully Creepy
Richard M. Affleck | Lake Hopatcong, NJ USA | 08/15/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I love the description that another reviewer gave this album: Appalachian Gothic. With it's "roots" instrumentation and off-kilter lyrics, Sackcloth and Ashes is the dark side of "Oh, Brother Whereart Thou", invoking a strange and brooding "South" of hidden hollows and watchful people, a place that would be familiar to William Faulkner, not to mention Mulder and Scully. The music's not religious, not in the church goin' sense, but rather plays with themes of sin and redemption, heaven and hell, good and evil, that are such a part of the American past--and present. If you're open to travelling to a strange place, you could do much worse than Sixteen Horsepower."
Truly Creepy Graveyard Rock
Richard M. Affleck | 05/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is some seriously eerie stuff... it has a Christian bent to it (and I'll freely admit, I'm no fan of Christianity - in fact, I'm a black metal freak), but it's so full of the chill of death and so evocative that few forms of music weave a darker atmosphere than Sixteen Horsepower's. All of their albums are must-gets, but "Sackcloth" is the best. This rates up there with Skip James's blues music as music to scare the heck out of yourself with at 3 a.m. in a darkened room. The Appalachian music style blends well with backcountry rock and the darkness of the lyrics becomes deeper and more haunting with every listen. If you're into goth, blues, Type O Negative-type "metal" (although this is anything but metal), or anything else *strange* and have an open mind for things that are more than a bit different, you're gonna have a hard time pryin' this puppy out of your CD player. It's albums like this that make me glad that CD's don't wear out so easily. Very well thought-out - definitely not the typical "flavor of the month" stuff - and the lyrics have literary value, with powerful imagery. This has staying power. Beautiful. Chilling. And it still manages to kick butt. Snag it already..."