Canadian alt-rock-country hybrids The Deep Dark Woods brought their dark and moody sound to Ignition Records in Goshen, Ind. Saturday night. In a live setting, their sound was brighter and less baleful than on record, although they were still a bit darker than the typical fare found on the Ignition stage. Venue owner Steve Martin, who normally introduces the show, was conspicuously absent, but a stand-in emcee aptly summarized the band as being from Canada and, as it turns out, were the second band ever to play on the venue’s stage.
“Well, it’s good to be back,” Woods main man Ryan Boldt said about three songs in, acknowledging their return to the local stage. The five-piece band mostly stuck to the slow-to-mid-tempo, not playing much that could exactly be called uptempo or upbeat. Even their stomping numbers tended to favor volume over tempo. But what they may lack in variety they make up for in atmosphere. Their set as a whole seemed strategically laid out to build to a crescendo, both in force and in the length of songs; about an hour into the set the band played more extended solos than are found on record, with lead guitarist Clayton Linthicum, in particular, laying down some nicely arpeggiated solos.
As a five-piece the band, which stylistically is derived from a sort of Flying Burrito Brothers-ish country-rock hybrid, their sound is aided immeasurably by keyboardist Geoff Hilhorst, whose organ and mellotron-sounding chords added a definitive sense of mystique to the proceedings.