Houndstooth: No News From Home

Oregon band rewinds, fast-forwards into trippy highs

Credit: Jaclyn Campanaro

Houndstooth conjure multiple heydays: Sixties folk-rock psychedelia (Velvet Underground, Jefferson Airplane), Seventies CBGBs street pop (Blondie, Television), Eighties alt-rock shimmer (10,000 Maniacs, Cowboy Junkies). But the recipe's all theirs. Singer Katie Bernstein has that tasty Debbie Harry thing at the end of her phrases, a vocal arched eyebrow. Befitting her Portlandia base, she's a laid-back singer, bobbing languidly around beats ("Green Light") — a good match for co-fronter John Gnorski. But when their instruments lock in, things can get pretty high. See the double-helix finale of "Witching Hour," where they yell "Universe, send me a ruby!" while their guitars rocket toward the moon.