Not the eccentric label who have the audacity to release all your favourite records, but an equally exciting band of psychedelic-influenced mavericks. Houndstooth continue to define their sound with No News From Home, which sees the band follow up Ride Out The Dark with another record of confessional and strikingly personal works, made real and relatable by way of Katie Bernstein's songwriting.
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After a day of packing devastating God’s Pee records into little anxious boxes, Houndstooth are quite reassuringly not harbinging the apocalypse. It’s the least they could do, and I thank them for that: ‘No News From Home’ is astonishingly nice, a listen that echoes the quiet, homegrown dramas of Cate Le Bon and the country-inflected twee of Hospitality. With a teaspoon of psych and a great bout of indie rock cold medicine, ‘No News From Home’ is a soothing, lightly emotive record to sit back with.
Katie Bernstein’s behind the songwriting here, and she focuses on little other than wringing good melodies out of every vocal line. It’s kind of amazing how often she hits; no bum notes, no annoying side-quests, just good, breezy vibes that haven’t been captured as consistently since Best Coast’s ‘Crazy For You’ (though the arrangements and lyrics that go with her songs are much more intricately presented). The guitars of John Gnorski and the drums of Grame Gibson gather ‘round her with clarity but little energy, making the whole thing feel effortless and triumphantly low-key.
This is supremely pretty stuff, even when John Gnorski gets a chance at performing one of his songs -- with a more overt dosage of twang, he pulls off the same results as Bernstein, recalling Cate Le Bon once more while also snarling in that kind, clueless way of Kurt Vile’s. The cornerstones are gentleness, kindness and good will, and Houndstooth make them sound fucking cool.
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