CD - $12.00
Finally reissued as a digipack!
The voice, vibe and vision of 16 HP leader David Eugene Edwards tapped an even deeper vein than Jeffrey Lee Pierce himself. Only instead of a hellhound on his trail, David's went straight to God. Here are 8 originals and 3 very unique takes on songs by Joy Division, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and The Gun Club.
Previously very hard to find, Hoarse contains 16 HORSEPOWER live tracks from Denver in 1998. This was first intended to be released as a bootleg, but it was instead released briefly on Checkered Past as an official live album after the powers that be heard how incredible it is, back in 2001. Long sought-after by rabid and diverse 16 HP fans everywhere, Hoarse finds a steady and permanent home at last on Alternative Tentacles Records.
"After being out of print for WAY too long, this amazing live document finally sees the light of day once more. Or more appropriately maybe, the dark of night. Even more appropriately, the star flecked deep dark night, viewed through the dense canopy above the deep dark swamps of the South. This is 16 Horsepower after all, southern fried, revivalist, back woods countrified gothic stomp. Bleak tales of salvation and damnation. And what better way to experience the fire and fury of 16HP than live, beneath the ol' patched up tent, set up on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere, pouring rain, with mudcaked boots and huddled townsfolk jostling for a chance to be saved, a night of testifyin' for sure, live and sweaty and fearsomely intense, fierce as fuck, but still moody and dark and really, really creepy. Sort of like Deliverance:The Musical or something. Squeezebox, acoustic guitar and drums never sounded so good. Or so menacing. Those of you who know 16HP know exactly what this disc has in store for you. For those of you who have yet to discover the dark joy of 16 Horsepower (now sadly defunct) you just might just find your musical souls saved. Or damned. Either way, a treacherously brilliant musical path lies ahead, numerous 16HP releases all amazing, two Lilium records (2/3 of 16HP), as well as several Woven Hand records (the even MORE Biblically brutal and emotionally menacing post-16HP efforts by mainman David Eugene Edwards).
A handful of covers get the 16HP makeover. John Fogerty, Gun Club, and Joy Division all have their tunes somehow made even darker and more bleak.
Fans of Nick Cave, who were disappointed with his new shinier direction of late, and who still yearn for that misanthropic gloom, might find just what they're looking for with 16 Horsepower. And of course essential for fans of all things dark and swampy, who want their music steeped in fire and brimstone, confusion and misery, death and misery and the long hard road to salvation and the inevitable fall into damnation!"
- Aquarius Records
"Live albums are usually a very hit and miss venture. Especially for bands whose talent is created by studio magic, it becomes all too evident when their live albums come out completely and totally flat. Other bands, representing the complete opposite camp, come off pretty flat on record, but stellar in a live setting. Having never heard 16 Horsepower before their live album, Hoarse, I cannot give you a studio reference point, but I can without hesitation tell you, that this is a band that translates quite well into a live setting.
A veritable melting pot of styles, including folk, blues, and rock'n'roll, 16 Horsepower motor through 11 live interpretations with undeniable spirit and vigor. There's just such a rousing feeling gotten from these songs, upbeat and energetic to the fullest. The band's vocalist has an extremely bluesy baritone that cascades up and down with the rhythm of the songs he's singing over. Jagged and forceful, the words seem to take on an added impact just on the basis of how he delivers them. Full of staggering conviction, each song is easily identified not only by the singer's different vocal patterns, but by the variety shown by the band that's backing him.
A lot of blues, a lot of rock'n'roll, and a just a tinge of folk thrown into the mix makes for a listener that really has to stay on his toes. Even live, everything sounds tight, crisp, and loud. The heavy distortion in the more rock-oriented tracks jumps right out at you, while the more sublime blues style evokes a more relaxing feel. The foot-tapping folk/country twang of "Iron Lung" whips up a frenzy of activity from the band, including a little bit of banjo work, while the followup, "Horse Head" uses some extremely well-placed strings to make for a far more emotional atmosphere. Different still, is a more traditional rock'n'roll song like "Brimstone Rock." Even then though, there's added elements to give the songs' quieter sections an old western feel. This is a band never content to sticking to one song and style, and no matter their direction, everything gets pulled together in an almost masterful manner.
Not ones to let their wide range of sounds and influences come into any sort of question, the band also includes three covers, giving each of them a fair bit of attention and interpretation, so as to make the song their own. This includes a much more soulful rendition of John Fogerty's "Bad Moon Rising," a bit heavier a version of Joy Division's "Day of the Lords," and the Gun Club's "Fire Spirit," which doesn't sound as different from the original as the two aforementioned tracks. The first two, however, are a testament to how unique and how talented this band really is.
The vocalist is the star of the show, with a unique and earnest sound that can change on a moment's notice, but there's sure as hell no slouches accompanying him on the record. This is about as "hit" as a live album can possibly be, fluid and well done across the board."- Punknews.org