With the release of a best-of output in late 2011 and a live CD earlier this year it already looked a bit like America’s finest alt-country outfit WOVENHAND (also spelled like WOVEN HAND) is slowly running out of ideas. But this is far from the truth. It is more like after ten years of WOVENHAND that its band boss David Eugene Edwards (DEE) is ready to close a chapter and open a new one – and voilá, there it is now: A new blasting WOVENHAND album called The Laughing Stalk, heavier than anything else that escaped the biblical-tinged feather of this Americana mastermind during the last decade. And of course again the lyrics are inspired by the old and new testament, but even if you are not a theologist and/or practicing Christian you will soon realize that those words dig deeper into mankind’s weaknesses and are more universal than you might instantly think. WOVENHAND‘s lyrics here talk of loss and suffering but also of purity, joy and the rare moments of blessedness – as they always did.

Wovenhand - The Laughing Stalk (2012)

WOVENHAND The Laughing Stalk

1. Long Horn
2. The Laughing Stalk
3. In the Temple
4. King O King
5. Closer
6. Maize
7. Coup Stick
8. As Wool
9. Glistening Black

So what changed with album number seven? First it might be important to say that only DEE and drummer Ordy Garrison remained from the original lineup and a fresh breeze came in with new guitarist Chuck French and bass man Gregory Garcia jr. It is said they helped The Laughing Stalk to be the “most heavy incarnation” that ever existed of WOVENHAND. But this is no clumsy record, not at the slightest. The filigree details are around every corner and the Americana spirit is definitely wrought into every single track of the album. Take for example Maize: The booming rhythm and repetitive chanting vocals pay tribute to American natives’ music with of course adding an own seasoning to the songs, which in this case is the sparse and dreamy piano, supporting the wide scene delicately with all its frailty.
But yes, most songs here are much more guitar-driven, heavily hypnotizing and hypnotizingly heavy, sometimes dark and mysterious, sometimes openly bulldozing the prairie. And sometimes they even can be fun: I couldn’t hide a smile when hearing the punk-rock infected piece As Wool. It’s a rocker and I can quite imagine this one to be some good enjoyment on stage…
As a treat you best check out the album’s last song Glistening Black. It is sort of representative for the whole WOVENHAND sound that was developed through the last ten years and on the other hand it nicely displays the new heaviness and even some metal riffs, that remind you here and there of the heavier years of DEE‘s former band 16 HORSEPOWER.

The Laughing Stalk hits the stores on 7th September via Glitterhouse Records and there are many September shows confirmed for Europe. Check out WOVENHAND‘s website for all dates. And you are strongly advised to go to one of their enigmatic live shows. WOVENHAND are one of the best stage bands out there. Promised.


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alternative / country / folk
from Denver, USA


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