Artist: The Host
Label: Self Released
Hailing from Cincinati, Ohio, The Host are another example of what makes the internet such a great resource for music you might never hear. Considering I’d never heard of them, you can imagine my scepticism when an email popped up in my inbox, informing me matter of factly that “The Host will rock your world!”. Already put off, I opened the email up to find MP3’s from the band’s double EP effort, Transmit and Receive. The proof is in the pudding however, and I was genuinely impressed when I got round to giving the band a proper listen.
Transmit, the second of the dual EP project, opens with ‘Working Undercover’, a song echoing the sounds of A Perfect Circle and Ashes Divide with muted guitars that rise up into a catchy chorus. What grabbed me the most at this point was Chris Charlton’s airy and yet powerful vocal chords that show an impressive range for what is a very young band. I mean, this guy can sing, and when he opens up on ‘Castling’ he transcends a lot of different vocal styles – at points he sounds borderline angst teen, but the next second he’s singing with a voice that could be coming from an equally talented woman. He’s got the range and emotion to pull all this off without you bursting out laughing, and it immediately makes the songs here stand out.
‘Duel’ is driven by it’s strumming bass line, and reverberates around the room like a fly in slow motion before becoming all about open, rising chords that never fail to create an epic movement that shows the band at their angriest, swear words, shouts and all.
The production here is brilliant considering the fairly humble roots, the bass providing enough of a dirty rumble to offset the softer vocals. ‘Please Move’ rumbles with an early Korn-esque threat, grimy and full of meaty texture.
The EP closes with ‘On Carrion’, initally a slow burner that shows the band aren’t too afraid of having a song evolve rather than be the product of riff after riff. The guitars move peacefully before accompanying Charlton’s haunting voice, and then fading away again into patient wails as Charlton whispers away.
The poppy format of the EP, with the majority of tracks no longer than four minutes makes this an easy offering to consume. The boys are currently working on a full length album, and the combination of their determination, solid songwriting and good ideas should see that it blossoms into a piece of work to keep an eye out for, especially for those who are big fans of the likes of Muse, A Perfect Circle and thoughtful and powerful rock.