I've ummed and ahhed about doing this review. Firstly because it came out back in May so I'm quite late to the party. Secondly because I do have a list of more current things on my review list. However I enjoyed this EP so much I had to do it. The EP in question is Not Here To Make Friends by Toronto punks Talk Show Host.
The five track EP starts off with the song Dead Meat. Dead Meat is a lovely slab of melodic pop punk that gives you a great idea of what to expect from Talk Show Host. Musically, as you would expect from a pop punk song, it's fast and punchy with every musical line seemingly finished with an exclamation point. The song is about feeling like your world is ending and putting up walls to protect yourself. The second track, We're Not Here To Make Friends, really reminded me of MxPx so, of course, I thought it was great. It's a shorter song that takes aim at those bands who don't want to be involved in a scene and just want to get ahead and be famous. I really enjoyed the lyrics "I'll Play To No One, I Don't Care, We Backed The Right Horse In The Wrong Year, Your Manifesto, Sing It Loud and Clear, We're Not Here To Make Friends, We're Just Here To Win."
The opening of I Hate Men (I Hate All Men) put a huge smile on my face. The track begins slowly with just vocals and a bit of drums that pull you into the song and really allows you to focus on the lyrics and exactly what the song is about. In case the chorus doesn't make it abundantly clear, it's about what a terrible species men are. Soon enough the song starts properly and we're treated to a banger of a song. The lyrics are so brilliantly insightful and heartbreakingly true. Talk Show Host are joined on vocals by Madeleine Maynard for a verse and this just adds another excellent element to the song.
The EP's penultimate song is Watch Him Fall. Here the song takes more of an indie rock feel for a big portion of its duration. It's much more laid back than the previous three songs. That is until its finale where it finishes with a great big rock ending. The way in which the song builds is just delightful and leaves you wanting more and more. The final song on Not Here To Make Friends is the excellent A Nervous Wreck. A Nervous Wreck begins with some guitar and some nice "oooooh" harmonies before the vocals kick in completely. The track is another that builds spectacularly throughout its duration. It's about finding somewhere to fit in and feeling comfortable – namely the DIY punk scene where you'll accepted with open arms. The finale of this track is the hardest rocking section of the entire EP and ensures that it finishes with a bang.
Not Here To Make Friends is Talk Show Host's third EP and is an absolute triumph. Listen to their past two EPs – there is so much progress here and you can hear a band that are ready to make the next step up and become even wider known in the punk scene all over the world.
Stream and download Not Here To Make Friends here: https://welovetalkshowhost.bandcamp.com/album/not-here-to-make-friends
Like Talk Show Host here: https://www.facebook.com/talkshowhost.ca/
This review was written by Colin Clark.