“Come to my house/I got whisky and chairs”

16 Horsepower – “Horse Head” from Hoarse [2001]

Whenever I speak with fellow aficionados of 16 Horsepower, we can all agree on the importance of the crazed, drunken preacher with hellfire in his eyes coming out of frontman David Eugene Edwards, just as we can agree that this band has rekindled the fear of the Lord in our souls. But I never hear about the importance and soul-crushing weight of Pascal Humbert’s low end: on Secret South‘s opener “Clogger,” the whole album starts with a massive, speaker-rattling bowed contrabass. It’s got some physical weight to it, which is a nice counterbalance to Edwards’ hysterical yelping.

This track is particularly ominous, primarily because the low end acts as the song’s pallbearer; jerky guitar interpositions, hair-raising fiddle, and gawky yells into an old ribbon microphone act as the clouds, rain, and crows flying over the funeral procession.

This is one of the scariest songs I’ve ever heard. It’s a drunken man in a torn shirt, hurriedly staggering towards the instigator of a crop fire, pistol in one hand and a bottle of gin in the other.

Put the fear of the Lord in ya

Posted by Phil

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Filed under 2000s, Country

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