Post-Gazette and Sound Scene Express weigh in on Host Skull's Destruction / by David Bernabo

Pick up our new record here or tonight at 937 Liberty Ave for our release show.

 

Sound Scene Express

"For every jarring moment (like the distorted static buzz in the instrumental of “Form Destroyer,” and the punctuated, discordant ending of “No One Else”), there was a charming or cool one to match it (like the entrancing tribal rhythm and pretty acoustic guitar riff in “Novel,” plus wherever the warbling keys made an appearance.) If you have any particular love for the guitar, you’ll also appreciate how it’s used to its full capacity here. Driving, crunchy, punkish riffs; moody, mournful solos; jamming phrases and patterns that take melodic risks; all with varying levels of distortion and effects. This range is impressive, and crucial for creating the variety of moods Destruction evokes. And the consistent comfort of Bernabo’s distinct, slightly muted vocals are a connecting thread throughout."

"Nowhere does Host Skull more clearly deviate from the formulaic than with their percussion. It often dominates the musical landscape: shifting gears drastically within songs; pausing and attacking, repeatedly; each hit lining up exactly with a guitar or bass note. All this energetic, technically impressive activity (most concentrated in the rallying second track, “Animal Head”) is effective at keeping you on your toes. But it’s balanced with subdued, slower tracks, which still have their own standout moments of strangeness. The resigned melancholy of “My Possessions,” the wandering contemplation of “Dan in L.A.”, and the gorgeous, surprising ambient soundscape in the last half of the closer, “Big Tan”—all provide valleys relative to those higher-octane peaks."

http://www.soundsceneexpress.com/host-skull-subverts-the-expected-with-new-avant-rock-album-destruction/

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"They used an outside engineer for the first time, and then back in Pittsburgh, Mr. Bernabo and guitarist Erik Cirelli “experimented with crafting guitar solos line by line, doubling or harmonizing each line as we went.”

Those guitars have some real bite on “Host Skull’s Destruction,” an atmospheric indie rock gem filled with angular melodies and intricate playing that brings to mind latter-day Wilco, Spoon, Pavement and Steely Dan.

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/music/2017/07/27/Indie-rock-band-Host-Skull-plans-its-own-Destruction-David-Bernabo-Will-Dyar/stories/201707270007