Many bands openly reference influences from the formative years of rock, for arguments sake lets say the decade from the mid sixties onwards, but few sound as if they were actually recorded then, not in the way that Wovenhand does. And I’m not talking about any sort of deficiency in the recording quality that often indicates its age or any deliberate rose tinted pastiche that many bands think it’s cool to try to carry off. It is something in the acid tinged doom, the psychedelic subversions of the album and that swagger which rock carried it self with when it was still a young man.
If you close your mind to the fact that this is a current album, the sounds found here could be the source material for everyone from The Doors to The Cult to Nick Cave. And if the label Americana is one of those terms that seem so broad as to usually be redundant, here is sort of works. There is something at the core of David Eugene Edwards vision that could only have been born in the American heartland but he then takes that sound and twists it into warped stoner blues, gothic tinged psychedelia, dystopian rock and the same dark, acid-blasted country vibe that ran through his previous outfit, 16 Horsepower.
So if the rhinestone glitz of the Nashville music halls represents one end of the American musical dream this represents the other. Drive away from Music City, west until the car gives out along a lone highway, walk to the next town, the one that looks like the set of a post apocalyptic western and find its only bar. There is a band playing in the next room to an audience of drifters and truckers, hobo’s and hell-raisers and it sounds like this. You’ve left the American dream behind and you’re headed into the American nightmare.