From the first takes of the album opener „American Wheeze“ it won't take long until David Eugene Edwards, Steve Taylor, Jeffrey Paul Norlander, Jean-Yves Tolà and Pascal Humbert unleash their very own hell to the audience. In 1998 16 Horsepower were savage, clocklike and crushing - more machine than band but still filigree and in fact greater than the sum of its parts: "Even more raw and incisive than on its studio releases, the band tears into the songs with manic precision and rugged ferocity. Obviously recorded without overdubs or studio tinkering, the 53-minute show is short by today's standards. But the primal power and gut-wrenching emotion exuded on every track are not something that can be sustained over the long haul. They're not joking when they title one of their songs "Brimstone Rock"; the dark religious imagery meshes with standup bass, drums, and two guitars (with Edwards' occasional banjo and bandoneon) to create a torrent of sound. Similar to gospel, 16 Horsepower is unsettling live, where their drama and tension run thick, heavy, and uncut." (All Music Guide)
Having the one and only David Eugene Edwards as their charismatic frontman did not damage to their reputation: He's performing The Gun Club’s „Fire Spirit“ with Bertrand Cantat (Noir Desir, Détroit) in a thrilling version which proves equal to the original and sings Joy Division's „Day of the Lords“ as if it was his own creation in ways that makes your flesh crawl.
Take the feedback driven and monumental „For Heavens Sake“ with its cutting Slide Guitar or „Horse Head“ - the most quiet song from the album - for instance and you'll see the incredible quality of 16 HP's songwriting. The last named song is truly a melancholic masterpiece characterised by the amazing interaction of Jeffrey Paul Norlander’s Violin and David Eugene Edwards‘ querulous voice. If you you've ever listened to the studio recordings of the eight original songs of „Hoarse“ you really need to hear these live versions. Every song transforms to a higher level than its original. Evolution, that's truly one of the main trademarks of the band from Denver, CO that split up in 2004. 16 HP never really finished the process of writing a song, neither did they repeat!
If you've seen the band live on stage you'll know the magic of a 16 Horsepower show. „Hoarse“ is one of these rare live albums catching moments in its power and intensity.
Limited colored vinyl.