After exhausting their funds producing their first EP, Disunion Tour, Toronto band Talk Show Host recorded their second EP, Perfectly Competent, in their own jam space and living rooms. It makes perfect sense: the songs have that intimate feeling of kicking back with your buddies and talking about your dreams.
Perfectly Competent is a tight second instalment, with catchier, more accessible melodies than on their first EP. Thematically and musically, the songs echo the kind of urban restlessness that reverberates through other punk/rock favourites like Against Me! and early Green Day. Throughout, the band are unapologetically youthful, asking questions of identity like "What are you?" and "What will become of me?"
Opening track "I Don't Wanna Go to the Library" is like a bull bursting from its pen, as the vocals race to keep up with the breakneck guitar pace. It's a strong start that flows smoothly into the second track, "Lost and Found," which feels like a direct reply, rhythmically and thematically, to the first — both songs are charged with the frustration of feeling like you're doing nothing, of wanting your life to take off already.
The latter two tracks take a more introspective tone. "108" is part love song, part search for meaning in the mundane, while "Franklin" gives voice to a young character walking the city streets alone and looking for a purpose greater than the places and people he has always known.
Talk Show Host have been signed by French label Diskrete Music for this release, which suggests there more to come from the band. Here's hoping it's sooner than later. (Diskrete Music)