Wovenhand

Ten Stones

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Woven Hand serve an unceasingly darkly melodramatic, portentous platter of indie rock on Ten Stones. Much of the melodrama's down to the vocals of singer and principal songwriter David Eugene Edwards, who has the sort of slightly operatic vibrato heard in many an ambitious, arty singer/songwriter from the days of David Bowie onward. They might not quite be goth rock or post-punk, but the melodies and arrangements do emit a glow consistently hovering between the downbeat and the grim. The stern guitar rock base is sometimes embellished by prettier synthesizer strains, which weave their most effective patterns when they dovetail with the nearly spaghetti western-like guitar of "Not One Stone." Though it's sung in the manner of an epic art-rock song cycle, close perusal of the lyrics doesn't quite reveal what Edwards is on about, other than generally haunted and disturbed imagery suggesting journeys doomed and unfulfilled (with an interlude for a cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars"). This might in some ways be reminiscent of the kind of noirish music made by the likes of Bowie, Scott Walker, and Nick Cave. But such is the similarity of much of the mood from track to track that the net effect is to make one hungry to hear the likes of those superior aforementioned singer/songwriters instead, rather than more of Woven Hand themselves.

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