There’s something about the indie punk power pop scene in North America where the music often sounds crisp, pure and undiluted. Toronto based Talk Show Host have produced a pretty perfect slice of pop punk with their third release, the five track EP Not Here To Make Friends. If you are easy with early Blink 182, Green Day, Weezer or Against Me! this Talk Show Host EP will make for another good and lively bedfellow. The EP has been around since early summer last year but dear reader, some things are well worth relishing and serving late.
The theme of the EP (if there is a recurrent theme) is around having a healthy cynical suspicion of the world, although Talk Show Host aren’t asking you to be sorry for them with whiney vocals and lyrics; it’s just how life is here. Opener Dead Meat has a great rolling beat, a catchy riff and deeply cynical lyrics about how life will defeat you although there will be rare flashes of fun along the way.
Title track We’re Not Here To Make Friends is a lively but little thrash ditty coming in at under 100 seconds. It’s great for people in a hurry, but I find a short song amongst others of greater weight to be a bit of an out-there choice to showcase as the EP title. Perhaps its the healthy dose of irony in the title, given this release will have won Talk Show Host much new respect.
More likely as track of the EP is the much stronger and more memorable I Hate Men, I Hate All Men. It’s an inspired track about the arrogance of men and their assumptions of power and authority (I concur; it’s why I live with a woman). When the track of this subject matter is (largely) sung by a man then it has a greater impact, although I had to smile at a review of the track from a man who perceived it as a male ironic dig at the attitude of feminist women; clearly we have a long journey ahead guy. Like the rest of the EP there’s a lively pure punk pop delivery here.
Watch Him Fall is a track about a man with a death wish and who finally succeeds and it’s probably the deepest and most complex track on the album. There’s a nice controlled power and pace to this track with a pleasing build up. To close is A Nervous Wreck, a track I like for its pure fun simplicity and because it’s another one you can bounce around the room to.
Talk Show Host are a trio (Chris Veinot, Sean Woolven, Fabien Rivenet) from Canada and have been working together since 2015. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any forthcoming UK gigs for Talk Show Host (and they are taking something of a break until summer), but I’m truly gutted H2N can’t afford to jet me off to Canada to review the band live at Toronto’s Bovine Sex Club where the band are playing on February 15th. It sounds quite the gig venue to hear the song Dead Meat live.