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The Old Haunts – Fallow Field

The Old Haunts, from ye olde hot spot of Olympia, Washington and the fab Kill Rock Stars label, are a sassy trio who seem to have a rotating drum cast. Three people share drum credit on this record which, apparently, is their first full-length. I would make a “marching to the beat of a different drummer” joke here, except that they really don’t.

The band has the typical low-fi sound that we expect from a Kill Rock Stars band, an occasional ‘60s surf-rock flair, and twangy, indistinct vocals that could’ve been stolen from Jack White in his less coherent, screechier moments. There are a few guitar licks that belong on the soundtrack of a Robert Rodriguez film, but in general, they stick to spare, laid-back rhythms, meandering guitars and jaunty drums–whoever the drummer might be.


The Old Haunts sound like they should be wearing black mod shags and white belts, smoking American Spirits and swinging skinny hips in somebody’s basement or onstage in a smoky club. If the White Stripes are just too mainstream-rock for you, you’ll probably dig The Old Haunts. I like their attitude, but after a couple of plays it gets a bit monotonous, and after three rotations I still couldn’t figure out what most of their songs were about. And will someone please tell publicists that calling a band’s beats “droning” really isn’t high praise?


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