There’s something oddly calming about Haunt The Woods. They’re undoubtedly talented players, and demonstrate a love for searing guitar solos that matches their romantic intensity, and yet watching them play a Tuesday night set at Night and Day cafe is strangely soothing. Perhaps it’s the tone of the evening; everyone was sat, the lights low, and the band’s woozier moments were the ones that really captivated the audience. Or perhaps it’s just that the band themselves are so charming, so affable, that you’re incapable of not liking them.
On first impressions, there’s an unmistakable folk and blues influences to the band’s sound, that will definitely fill the Dry The River-shaped hole in your life. Their illustrious harmonies flutter delicately atop the pretty arrangements, and it feels as if you are sleepwalking through a subtle dream for much of their set. ‘Twisted’ in particular cements this vibe, yet equally the band come off as surprisingly proggy, with their shaggy long hair and early Muse style refrains (and we’re talking Showbiz-era Muse here, not the bloated, self-indulgent blandmeisters they’ve become in recent years), Haunt The Woods bring the power when needed, and it pays off.
Though the band occasionally fall back on safe, tried-and-tested folk tropes, overall they endure, and are highly endearing to the audience who were clearly largely strangers to their forest of melody. They deserved a more prestigious slot and a livelier response, but on the merits of their performance alone, and the pleasure I came away with on leaving the cafe, I’d say they represent a very tasteful and enjoyable way to spend an evening.
Haunt the Woods’ latest EP ‘The Line’ is available now, via iTunes.