Sixteen Horsepower is one of those bands that require one of three responces.
A) The listener thinks they are trash and hates it.
B) The listener realizes there is talent and something special here, but doesn't care for the music.
C) The listener sees the talent and specialness and falls in love with the band.
I'm afraid that, as the majority of music listeners mainly appriciate the pop end of the music spectrum, most people choose "A" if they should run across this band somewhere. This is not a band for the weak at heart.
Sixteen Horsepower has released four full length cds, one live cd, and one EP prior to this. The evolution of sound has been interesting to follow. In 1994 their first release, a self titled EP with 6 songs, had a gritty, almost punk-goth-country sound. Their 1995 and 1997 releases, Sackcloth 'n' Ashes and Low Estate, followed a simular path. In 2000, Secret South had a more polished sound, while retaining that punk-goth-country feel. Then, 2001 found them releasing live recordings from 1998, a cd titled Hoarse. It is the low point of their releases as the recording quality isn't that good. It features songs from the EP, Sackcloth 'n' Ashes, and Low Estate, plus several covers, notably a Joy Division song. Finally, 2002 brought around the folky-gothy-country cd titled Folklore. This one had a "real" sound along with an even mix of origional songs and covers/traditional/folk songs. In addition, David Eugene Edwards, the main man behind 16 Horsepower, released a solo cd under the name "Woven Hand", which featured a same playing style, only it is softer, without the edge and grit of past releases.
Here, in 2003, 16 Horsepower treats us with Olden. Take the album title as a description of what's inside. This is a collection of three recordings from 1993 and 1994. Warning: Most of these songs have been released already on the self titled EP, Sackcloth 'n' Ashes, Low Estate, or Hoarse. However these seem to be different recordings, so there are differences. Below is the track listing, including which cd previously featured each song.
From the Night Owl Session (1993):
1. American Wheeze (On Sackcloth 'n' Ashes and Hoarse)
2. Coal Black Horses (On the self titled EP)
3. Scrawled in Sap (On Sackcloth 'n' Ashes)
4. Prison Shoe Romp (On Sackcloth 'n' Ashes)
5. I Seen What I Saw (On Sackcloth 'n' Ashes)
6. Neck on the New Blade (On Sackcloth 'n' Ashes)