Old Haunts Poisonous Times

On their third record, Olympia, WA power trio the Old Haunts welcome a notable new member to their fold: former Bikini Kill riot grrrl Tobi Vail. Here though, Vail puts down her guitar and steps behind the kit, which she plays with loose abandon. But the Old Haunts are singer Craig Extine’s vehicle, one he navigates with considerable aplomb. He successfully blends Jon Spencer dirt blues, acoustic psych, surf and garage and tops it all off with just the right dose of No Depression-era riffage, his Jack White-esque yelp reverberating through the songs. For a record that covers so many styles, it’s surprisingly cohesive, and the changes in tempo and mood occur naturally and smartly. It’s a credit to how well these three mesh together — bassist Scott Seckington’s understated playing is crucial to the mix and underscores how this band are greater than the sum of their parts. This is just as applicable to Poisonous Times, which makes up for lacking any standout singles with its consistency. (Kill Rock Stars)