What do you get when you combine the rambunctious, guitar driven rock of the Replacements or Sugar and combine it with a vocal melody out of the XTC or McCartney songbook, then add a pinch of layered harmony akin with CSN &Y or the Beach Boys? This musical hodge-podge recipe may fall somewhere in the vicinity of Michigan’s Your Gracious Host.
The band, a “collective” of sorts led by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tom Curless, often has the push and pull of a rickety steam train, barreling ahead at full steam but may suddenly make some unexpected turns. Distorted guitars and heavy drums during a verse may suddenly give way to a harmony led melodious outro. A straight ahead pounding rock song may be followed by a light and airy pop tune. This may just reflect the author’s dual personality and surroundings, a certain sour combined at once with the sweet.
The band’s last release in 2015 (The writers of our Destiny) was a “concept” album (gasp!), arriving complete with a short story to go along with the record. Contrast this with the debut’s simple pop songs and you get an idea of what Curless is all about and where he may be heading at any moment. Lyrics often seem to drift toward the personal struggles of daily life, although generously peppered with a poetic twist or two.
The latest release is called Boomerang. It was shot on location intermittently over most of 2016 at Tempermill Studios with Dave Feeny (Blanche, American Mars, and much more). His enthusiasm, contributions and overall engineering wizardry brought the best out of Curless, and this record may just contain some of the most aggressive music YGH has put to tape.
A driven, prolific artist, (born and raised on the east coast but now planted firmly in the Midwest) Tom puts his heart and soul into Your Gracious Host, and his passion shines brilliantly through the words and music, not to mention high energy performances. Please try to remember, you have all been invited, your host is patiently waiting for the RSVP to arrive.
Your Gracious Host (s/t) – released December 2008
Easy Red – released February 2010
Sleepers Awaken – released January 2011
1UP 2 DOWN – released January 2012
Falling off the Earth – released July 2013
The writers of our destiny – released June 2015
Boomerang – released February 2017