I’m not entirely sure why I like Tokyo Police Club the way I do. The core building blocks of the band are pretty straight forward: metronomic indie rock drumming, jagged, occasionally reverbed guitar and a thin but emotive lead singer. All the elements separately wouldn’t stand a chance , but together they coalesce and creates something that exceeds expectations.
When the tempo is pushed forward, the songs are at their best; propulsive head-nodding pseudo-anthems that catch you in their wake and pull you along. Tracks like ‘Your English Is Good’ stomp along with all the fervor of punkrock’s grandchild, but with an added attention to shifting detail. The song is littered with touches; the keyboard line glues together the clicking of the drums and the steady, fuzzy bass. It’s not repetitive; the riffs concise and incredibly efficient.
I’m not the type of listener who reacts to the lyrics. I tend to process the minutia of the sound production rather than respond to the worlds described by the singer. Dave Monks is an exception as very early in my discovery of the band I found myself looking up the lyrics and additionally, the meaning behind the words to ‘In A Cave’.
The phrasing isn’t always perfect, but his choices create something that is earnest and visual. The narratives twist throughout the song, fragments of images appear and guide you along. I think the almost awkward positioning of some of his word choices are the things that draw me in. The times my ears get confused cause me to only listen closely and examine the narrative better. Like with The Ghost’s Brian Moss, the things that I initially found offputting about some of his lyric choices evolved into the things that I found most endearing about the band.
The Interface has a few fantastic in-studio acoustic performances up as video and for MP3 download. Plus, Monks has a Maps and Atlases shirt on…you know how I love those guys. Always nice to see people you like have good taste as well.
You can download the full set for download as an single MP3 from The Interface, but I took the liberty of chopping it up into individual tracks. Far more useful that way:
Tokyo Police Club – Live at The Interface (Acoustic)
01. Tokyo Police Club – Tessalate: MP3 – VIDEO
02. Tokyo Police Club – The Harrowing Adventures: MP3 – VIDEO
03. Tokyo Police Club – The Nature of the Experiment – MP3 – VIDEO
04. Tokyo Police Club – Centennial: MP3 – VIDEO
The four songs as a ZIP (Sendspace)
Elephant Shell is a great example of quality from a young band that will only grow as time moves on. The songs they’ve presented us are smartly produced, contemporary indie rock that is driving without being lofty or overly anthemic. The live, acoustic cuts strip away the layers and show something of exceptional craft at the core. What they do next will no doubt be well worth the listen.
2007’s Daytrotter Session