16 Horsepower are a tragically overlooked band, fronted by the eccentric yet undoubtedly talented David Eugene Edwards (also of Woven Hand). The band play a dark, brooding style of country music. If you see the word 'country' and are instantly thinking of hillbilly music and cowboys, 16 Horsepower will completely change that notion. The subject is dark - man's sins and downfall, societies lack of faith, wallowing in a world of superficial possessions... all engulfed in harrowing soundscapes of `eerie' banjos and a rather pounding low-end. This is not for the faint of heart.
Standout tracks include the menacing opener 'Hutterite Mile', a slow paced chilling opener that sets the tone perfectly. The same style is ensued in my personal favourite `Blessed Persistence', brooding, slow paced bass lines and desolate guitars surround Edwards' bleak lyrics. `Sinnerman' and `Beyone The Pale' also follow this style. `Outlaw Song' is very worthy of note for its difference, standing out from the overall gloomy atmosphere with its somewhat upbeat feel, despite the lyrics telling a rather violent narrative.
16 Horsepower really should get more recognition as they are a tremendous act, really engulfing and thought provoking, this is music to be savoured.