Host - There's Nothing Above But Heavy Clouds

Host is band from various parts of the Northeast United States, featuring members of Swallowed Up, Natural Law, Black Kites and Veloz. While some parts of this music may fit their "members of" reputation, the music is pretty straight forward and resembles something more like His Hero is Gone with a hint of more traditional hardcore.

"You Know" begins the record off with an instrumental section that has me thinking of a heavier take on Youth of Today. Before long the band is raging into a d-beat frenzy, complete with some strained, screaming vocals that never let up. The guitar work is interesting here and keeps the music from getting too predictable. Some of the higher fretwork adds a nice touch to distinguish the band. The pace slows down at about 1:15 to bring in a stomping two step.

"What's Left" gives you more of the same but manages to insert a traditional breakdown, complete with gang vocals, to finish off. "Going Down" takes you in the d-beat direction but shows some versatility with interesting technical work and chugging guitar. It's short lived and I found myself wishing the band would go for the throat when executing these parts, perhaps extending them and taking them to their full potential. The record ends with "Fuck This Place" giving us an exercise in d-beat with no deviation.

The production quality has some grit to it. The reverb heavy drums translate a big sound well and add to the "on top of you" feel of the music. The mix is very guitar heavy and the vocals sit just beneath them, but still maintain a good deal of raw power.

Listen to the whole thing here.