A solo vehicle for 16 Horsepower leader David Eugene Edwards, Woven Hand sacrifices his other outfit's thunderous bombast but retains the glowering intensity. This follow-up to 2002's self-titled debut is a masterstroke of creeping gothic: spectral percussion, skeletal guitar and Edwards' ominous voice, lent added weight by the religious significance of the lyrics (especially the startling "To Make A Ring"). Of his contemporaries, only Nick Cave and Willard Grant Conspiracy's Robert Fisher sound as eerily portentous.
The gothic country of Frazer's '90s band Tarnation shared much with 16 Horsepower and The Handsome Family—a Georgia-raised pastor's daughter, the South inspired Frazer's poetry. While we await the follow-up to 2001's Indoor Universe, these four-track rarities provide ample nourishment. Some of these songs appeared on Gentle Creatures ('95) and Mirador ('97), but not this nakedly beautiful. Frazer's voice has a metallic-folk edge which, allied to mariachi guitar, floods "An Awful Shade Of Blue" and "The Hand" with harsh desert light.