A lot of my favourite music comes from rock bands that are now defunct. That’s why I was terribly disappointed when I learned that The Old Haunts had broken up two years ago. I knew it was too good to be true that music like this was coming from a band that I could potentially see perform live.
The Old Haunts were like a grunge band with a southern feel. They were from the 2000’s and made me think I was listening to 90’s music. I don’t think I have ever heard another band that came out in recent years that did that. It’s really no wonder that they hail from Olympia, Washington; a city that had an explosion in the 90’s of female fronted bands dubbed “the riot grrrl movement”.
The drummer of The Old Haunts was in fact the drummer for Bikini Kill who is widely considered to be the pioneers of that movement. Her name is Tobi Vail, and she has the only familiar name in The Old Haunts. Personally, her name rings a bell with me only because she had once dated the late Kurt Cobain. Doesn’t get more 90’s/grunge than that.
The unfamiliar names are Craig Extine (guitar and vocals) and Scott Seckington (bass). The southern side of the band doesn’t just come from those twangs in the guitar (which is played wonderfully) but also from the voice of the lead singer which I’ve come to find irresistible. There’s a certain something in the way he sings every song that I don’t think I could do justice by trying to explain. You can tell that there’s heart in it. I could attach myself to everything they’ve made. There is not one song that I could say I disliked. If I did, I’d be lying or just wrong.
They really had such beautiful lyrics, too. The problem was that I couldn’t always understand them and I could never find any online. Now, I suppose I shouldn’t expect to ever find them. One that I did catch that turned out to be my absolute favourite went like this:
“There is nothing that I could see that I can’t already see in my sleep.” – “Wasted Day”
He could have been singing gibberish the whole time and I probably would have still fallen for it, anyway. I really can’t believe a band could play and write songs like this and pass by us so unrecognized. I was still waiting for them to blow up. They have truly done the musical world a great disservice by disbanding.
If you are a lover of rock music of any sort, I strongly urge you to look up The Old Haunts. If it’s up your alley, I know you’ll find it all as disappointing as I do. But I guess I should just be thankful that the music could never leave me.