The recent wave of nostalgia bands has returned something to the music world lost amid the switch from analog to digital: a taste of the classics without that irksome “remastered” prefix. So goes the story with the latest from Colorado-based Wovenhand, a band at once strange and familiar.
Ten Stones offers the same blend of dark rock riffs and folk influences pioneered by the ever-revered Doors. Frontman David Eugene Edwards weaves an intense lyrical tapestry both beautiful and morbid, uplifting and depressing. The album, Wovenhand’s fifth, is a documentation of the failings of humanity.
No resource goes untapped. In “Horsetail,” the distant acoustic strumming of Peter Van Laerhoven puts a roving Wild West twang to Edwards’ hauntingly Jim Morrison-esque vocals. Those same acoustics move from backing element to center stage for the folk-fiesty “Kingdom of Ice.”
The album isn’t without surprises, from a rock-meets-blues gyration in the Presley vein to what can only be described as a Tom Jones cover sung by Morrison. Wovenhand’s crown jewel is “Not One Stone,” at best guess a lament of the brutal conquest of North America and the can-do mindset behind it. As Edwards puts it, “behold the land/given for us/made cursed for us.” (Alex Sakariassen)
Wovenhand plays the Badlander Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 9 PM. March of the Black Queen opens. $10/$8 advance.