Album Reviews

Album Review: Talk Show Host – Mid-Century Modern

Talk Show Host debuts their first LP 'Mid-Century Modern' on June 4 via Wiretap Records
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After three self-released EPs, Talk Show Host’s work in the local scene has paid off with the release of their debut album, Mid-Century Modern, via Wiretap Recordings. The new album is available everywhere on June 4th.

Talk Show Host combines The Matches and Blink-182 esque vibes, producing a cotton-candy pop punk album, plucked from 2005. The album itself is simple and hits all of the pop-punk checkboxes:

  • Melodic vocals – CHECK
  • Riff heavy ramp ups – CHECK
  • Bass & drum ramp ups – CHECK
  • Call & responses – CHECK
  • Songs written for the in-show sing-a-long – CHECK
  • Songs written for the jump-up-and-downsies – CHECK
  • A few obscure references for the true nerds – CHECK
The “Blood in the Sand” video is a cute DIY cat-lady dream.

One of the album’s lead off singles, “Crisis Actors,” attempts to mix up the pop-driven album up with a heavier, political message. While the song has shades of Alkaline Trio, I would not say this is the fuck-you, Anti-Flag-inspired anthem the band was hoping for.

Additional highlights include:

“Warmest Condolences” is a clear hit. “Syntax Error OK” will be the B-Side fan favorite at future shows. “The Ballad o Jack Nance” is a bit of a head scratcher. I listened and listened for a direct Jack Nance reference and couldn’t find one. I wouldn’t call myself a David Lynch scholar, but I’m at least a TA on the subject. At most I could decipher a possible Laura Palmer reference: “91, in November, she was off, on a bender…” (See! An Easter egg for the nerds that have spent far too long pondering over what is likely just a fun song title.)

The album isn’t particularly complex or original in its sound but overall Mid-Century Modern is an enjoyable summer listen and bait for the next garage-band teen movie. Self-described as “two recovering punks and an indie rocker,” Talk Show Host is the Canadian-nice punk band you can take home to your mom.

Mid-Century Summer is available here on June 4.

Emma is a former (and sometimes) Democratic political operative. When not on a campaign, Emma is focused on writing timely pieces on culture, punk music, and spooky run-ins. After writing hours, Emma can be found mouthing off, watching baseball, and reading Stephen King. Emma is currently located in an antelope laden field in Wyoming. Find dated, pop culture references on her Twitter, @enlaurent, or read her other work at

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