U of Ottawa - The Fulcrum
WINTER HOURS IS The Deep Dark Woods’ third foray into the ambiguous genre of alt-country. The album relies heavily upon twangy guitars, copious harmonies, and monotonous drumming. Thankfully, though, the band has taken country away from songs about ma’ dog, ma’ girlfriend, and ma’ truck and back towards the ear-pleasing, finger-tapping country your parents liked so much. Listeners will find Winter Hours highly reminiscent of early Neil Young, The Band, or Bob Dylan’s folk and country albums. “Polly” and “The Birds on the Bridge” could actually be mistaken for covers of Dylan or Young. However, these blatant acknowledgements to likely influences do the album no harm as The Deep Dark Woods could do much worse than emulating some of country’s most prolific artists. Country fans will appreciate Winter Hours for its wonderfully mellow taste of the prairies, but while it’s a fine country album, it remains to be seen whether the band can carve out its own distinct sound.