16 HORSEPOWER - Folklore - CD - 10 tracks - Glitterhouse Records

I have always liked Passion Fodder, the exacerbated lyricism, the tense and vibrant folk music. So it comes to no surprise that, once the adventure was over, and Théo Hakola newly in pursuit of his solo career, Pascal Humbert and Jean-Yves Tola got back together as 16 Horsepower, joining forces with the charismatic David Eugene Edwards. The adventure simply went on, following a similar scenario. And in terms of quality, the level thus attained excels even the impressive talent of Passion Fodder. After some essential and remarkable albums, in the vein of Gun Club, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash and Nick Cave, in their blackest whirlpool of an America halfway between the urban blues and country of Will Oldham of Palace, Sixteen Horsepower attains a fulminating maturity with "Folklore", sailing in calmer, though nonetheless troubled waters. The ambience happens to be much more serene, but no less intense and torrid. Pieces delivered with purity and precision, languor and sobriety, yet endowed with a hypnotic aura of intense emotionality. Never before have they reached such mastery, such power. Continuing with their themes of choice, religion, death and love, the trio exults in deleterious and polar atmospheres of rare intensity, following the traces of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Ian Curtis, or walking the sombre shores of one of their other admitted influences, Hungarian folk music. And as if this new opus was not enough, the highly prolific David Eugene Edwards has also just released his first solo album, a veritable masterpiece called Woven Hand (equally reviewed on these pages).

Very strongly recommended !!

Stéphane F.
Winter 2003
Translation: Volker
Label : Glitterhouse