Sunday, June 17, 2007

Review - DEEP DARK WOODS - Self-titled

DEEP DARK WOODS
Deep Dark Woods
Independent
7-out-of-10
It is always a treat to listen to something from a Saskatchewan band. In the case of The Deep Dark Woods, I had not heard of the band until last week.
When I first heard the Saskatoon band's name thoughts turned to a darker, likely heavy metal sound. However, those initial thoughts were tempered by the realization this band was going to appear on the same pre-Juno show as Volcanoless In Canada. (See related article this issue). Many readers will be familiar with Volcanoless for their participation in last summers Fox94 Battle of the Bands at the summer fair. The band, which is based in Saskatoon, also has three members originally from Yorkton. Volcanoless is a band that is acoustically driven, so it was unlikely to be teamed on a pre-Juno stage with a band on the heavier end of the spectrum.
So it wasn't a huge surprise when I threw The Deep Dark Woods on the player that the music had an acoustic feel as well.
This band has a sort of new age country/folk sound that had my memory tweaking on the band Junior Gone Wild.
The band's sounds is guitar driven with Ryan Boldt and Burke Barlow strumming the strings. Chris Mason adds bass, with Lucas Goetz on drums. All four lend vocals to the band, and therein lies The Deep Dark Woods greatest strength. The vocals are clear and sharp and put the music over well.
This self-titled effort has several strong cuts among the 10 songs, nine of which are penned by Boldt, the 10th credited to Mason.
Dead and Buried is a great song lyrically to kick things off. While cuts such as This Town Has Got Me Down, Ramblin Mind and Summer is Gone speak to the Saskatchewan experience, at least in my mind.
The Deep Dark Woods' music may not find an easy home on radio, as it cuts across too many genres without fully fitting any one of them. It has pop elements, country, a hint of jazz, and definite folk lyrics. However, not fitting some cookie cutter radio programming sound is not a bad thing.
This is a band I'd love to see live. A definite fresh sound worth a listen.
-- CALVIN DANIELS
- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper March 28, 2007 - Yorkton, SK, Canada

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