I’ve loved David Eugene Edwards’s work since I first heard the brilliant 16 Horsepower in the mid-90s, and his current band, Wovenhand
, goes deeper and burns brighter with every new release. Its sixth full-length, last fall’s The Laughing Stalk
, came out on Sounds Familyre, the label founded by Daniel Smith of the Danielson Famile—home to many great artists making what I guess you could call “not your Sunday school teacher’s Christian rock.” The album takes his instantly recognizable Biblical-western-gothic style and puts fierce hard-rock muscle underneath—Edwards often delivers his lyrics like he’s a prophet chanting from deep in a trance, and the music’s rugged metallic vitality seems to drive him into a Pentecostal frenzy. The Laughing Stalk
is much louder and bigger than its predecessor, 2010’s The Threshingfloor
, and its arrangements of guitar lines are sublime in the way that 16 Horsepower’s string parts used to be—except that they’re writ large against the sky, rather than painted on the walls of a dark juke joint. Edwards’s previous attempt to tour was felled by pneumonia, and for much of the rest of the year he’ll be busy as a member of the re-formed Crime & the City Solution—so catch Wovenhand now. —Monica Kendrick Wrekmeister Harmonies and Bruce Lamont & Eric Chaleff open.