Wovenhand Ten Stones

Though there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with Wovenhand, they don’t do much more for me than your average alternative rock band. There are righteous moments on Ten Stones, to be certain, but the breathy, pretentious vocals and Nick Cave impersonations sour even the richest instrumental parts. All I hear is struggle, and not in a good way — they seem to be trying too hard. Even when they hit the mark ("moody” or "haunting”) the effort is more apparent than the emotion. A particularly angst-ridden cover of "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” is interesting. It sounds good but its ironic overtones threaten to disrespect a lovely song (though, admittedly, I’m a bit tight-assed about these things). Other tracks have the makings of good songs — great beats, riffs, or tension — but the vocals, not to mention the dramatic lyrics, make me uncomfortable. It’s not like Ten Stones is terrible, far from it. It just turns me off. (Sounds Familyre)