At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, when you listen to Perfectly Competent, you can’t help but think it would have nestled into the catalogue of Epitaph Records quite snuggly during the label’s heyday. Bold claim? Sure, but Talk Show Host have a sound that is every bit a resurgence of that era as it is nicely plunked into the current zeitgeist.

“I Don’t Wanna Go to the Library” starts things off, and when the drums enter, the doors of the EP come flying open. The band is looking for something bigger while trying to remain calm. The pace of the track would suggest otherwise though – upbeat in spite of things and only taking a few breathers. This is the classic tune of looking to make it big taken to the next level.

Then you get “Lost and Found,” a song that powers and chugs through – like an open road with faded memories and power chords. Locking yourself up from problems could be a solution to what ails you, but there are big plans in store. Then, with enough gristle to take the edge off the peppiness, is “108.” Looking to get more out of life than just luck may seem to be the protagonist’s fate at times, but at least the “her” in his life keeps things moving forward.

Perfectly Competent then takes a decidedly stark turn. The somber track “Franklin” slows down the Toronto band’s clip considerably. As an ode to a departed friend, a beacon is seen in the sky as saying “farewell” begins. Lyrics experience a heaviness while the music attempts to rescue the words from their sadness, but sometimes pain can be a little too overwhelming.

You can pick up the EP over at Talk Show Host’s bandcamp. Joey Smith