The Old Haunts

The Old Haunts

The Old Haunts

Poisonous Times

Kill Rock Stars

It’s a little bit of Pixies, a smattering of Sebadoh, the drummer from Bikini Kill, and a whole lot of Pacific Northwest coolness. Poisonous Times is a wonderfully low-fi, potent blend whipped up by The Old Haunts.

Like all great garage rock albums, this trio bleeds on the record with spontaneity. It can be heard in the rockabilly riffs and raw vocals of Craig Extine — who sounds like the missing link between Frank Black and Jack White (check out “Sister City”) — and in the loosely-structured rhythms of bassist Scott Seckington and drummer Tobi Vail. “Ruined View” and “Not Hopeless” are just a couple of songs that I continually come back to.

Were this an album of jerky guitar parts and banshee vocals, I’d still dig it, but I may not appreciate it as anything more than another fun garage punk album. What brings this band out of the garage and into the stage lights are the chances they take when they strip away the jagged edges and let their songs stand bare, as on “Hung Up on the Down Side” and “In Revolt.”

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