Tokyo Police Club
You often don't know what you've got until it's gone. A group breaks up. It's done… or is it? Well, everybody got along. Why not get back together for the hell of it. Why not indeed? The members of Tokyo Police Club reunited in Hook's suburban Toronto basement with nothing more on the agenda than playing music. Of course, that led to some shows before sparse but impressed audiences. The story would likely have ended there were it not for an invitation to play the Pop Montreal festival. Their festival success convinced them to make a serious go of it. Returning to Toronto they played some "serious" shows and got signed by the local Paperbag Records who released Tokyo Police Club's seven song "Lessons In Crime" in Canada. Some months later the album found its way to the U.S.
Moving to the Saddle Creek label Tokyo Police Club released the full-length "Elephant Shell" in '08. That was followed by their second full-length album, "Champ," in '10. The set cracked the Top 5 on the College Albums chart.
Wanna have some fun? Whether by evolution, design or even intelligent design, Tokyo Police Club sounds like the rebellious illegitimate offspring of the B-52s and Flock Of Seagulls. But there is enough lean Punk in there to keep it from becoming ponderous or overly goofy. They race through their guitar led songs with an aplomb that's hard to resist and is guaranteed to move.
"Cheer It On" opens "Lessons In Crime" and is a good natured romp, right down to the humorous keyboard breaks. The group plays it straight on "Citizens Of Tomorrow" and "Shoulders And Arms" without a pause or distraction. The songs are short and powerful shots. "Be Good" comes closest to sideswiping the Seagulls sound but TPC are far less detached.
Great music always overcomes pedantic lyrics. But heady lyrics can't survive pedestrian music. Tokyo Police Club expand their literary notions (lyrics containing poly-syllabic words - not normally sung) on "Elephant Shell" and fortunately they have the drive to pull it off. Their casual post-Punk approach gives the music an unfinished feel. This approach is generally OK but there is a feeling they could have really delivered on some tracks.
Still, "In a Cave" is a likeable track with dance floor potential while "Your English Is Good" actually sounds accomplished.
The danceable indie Rock of "Elephant Shell" gets toned down on "Champ" but Tokyo Police Club's synth-pop roots remain intact as they veer toward MGMT. Still, they've produced a catchy collection of songs: "Favourite Colour," "Bambi," "End Of A Spark," "Gone" and "Big Difference."