David Eugene Edwards is a gifted artist. How he saw fit to meld folk, gospel, classical and goth into a unique and potent form is beyond me (I even hate having to use those labels to try and describe the music). That is the stuff of genius……
Even in the construct of this alchemy it never lapses into murky, ill defined sludge. It’s always kept afloat by crisp production and finely honed songwriting. It also fails to succumb to the terminal bummer status of many albums of it’s ilk. It never gets totally happy and bouncy but Denver City feels more like Rock and Roll by the Velvet Underground. Late in the album it’s a bit of a relief to the sonic humidity that characterizes the 10 tracks prior to it.
The only band that came to mind when listening to The Threshing Floor was Siousxie and the Banshees around the Juju era. The minor key, occasional eastern/arabic sounding tonality and clear production brought to mind songs like "Spellbound" and "Israel." Obviously this is only a point of reference, worlds apart in terms of application.
He gains further points by covering "Truth" from the relatively obscure first New Order album Movement. Not only does he cover it but he does it justice, not twisting it into something other than the original’s intentions. It fits the musical template that this CD is forged from.
The CD has a cautionary feel to it. Like the last 5 minutes of fire and brimstone preaching from a tent evangelist prior to the altar call.
I suppose a few artists in the past have done bits and pieces of what Wovenhad does, The Gun Club/Jeffery Lee Pierce come to mind as far as conjuring up the “hellhound on my tail” blues/rock hybrid, Wall of Voodoo, while certainly with a devastating humorous streak, conjure up the mix of synth/Western but neither of those are touchstones for the RIYL crowd.
Let me check, I think I just wrote a Wovenhand review without using the terms: haunted, Appalachian, backwoods tent preacher (okay, I used half) or Pentecostal revival meetings………..