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All grown up!
Before They Were Stars!
June 3rd, 2010
Tokyo Police Club is a Newmarket, Ontario-native band. consisting of Dave Monks, Graham Wright, Josh Hook and Greg Alsop. The band released their first LP, Elephant Shell, in 2008 and have also released two EPs titled “A Lesson in Crime” and Smith EP”. In response to a successful first LP, Tokyo Police Club is releasing their sophomore LP, Champ, June 8th.
In anticipation of the new ‘Club record, here’s a First Spin, song-by-song analysis of the soon-to-be released album, Champ (hit the name and check out the track!)
I think we’d all be in agreement if I said that part of the reason we all keep coming back for more from Tokyo Police Club is because of Dave Monks voice. It’s quite unique. “Favourite Food” (and the whole album) opens up with some solemn-sounding synth and Dave singing a few verses softly. In accordance with Tokyo Police Club’s style, though, the beat picks up and Dave gets hyped! The drum kit comes in, accentuating Dave’s awesome rhymes. “…dry. Things are better in black and white.” *BAM* Once you listen, you’ll understand. From there on, it turns into an awesome guitar solo, which sounds quite Two Door Cinema Club-esque. Definitely a good opening song – it, while grabbing your attention and letting you know that you’re listening to new Tokyo Police Club, contains clear and obvious signs that this is by the same band that released Elephant Shell.
This next one, I personally am not a fan of. It’s little too poppy for me. It’s almost like they’re trying a little bit too hard to make you like a song, in turn… making you not like it. That’s my deal at least. Other than that though, it is absolutely a pump-up song like no other. Listen to this once and you’ll have your heart racing and your head bopping, guaranteed. By no means is this a bad song, but in terms of traditional Tokyo Police Club, it caught me off-guard.
This song is pretty much carried solely by a repeating guitar riff. It goes something like, “Duuhhh. Duhhh. Duuuuh. Duuuhhnn.” The lyrics, other instruments and everything else is completely worked around it. So, evidently, the song has a wicked, cathy rhythm to it. As the first single off of the album, it’s well deserved.
This song has an ridiculously similar beat to “Breakneck Speed”. It does, though, have a rather unique chorus, which is definitely the highlight of the song. It includes some howling (“woooo, woooo”), which is always nice, along with what sounds like a bunch of instruments being played like crazy, but in a good way. As far as I’m concerned, the chorus of “Wait Up (Boots of Danger)” could have been added to “Breakneck Speed” and this song could have been removed from the album. They’re just too similar!
By far one of the best song on the album. Every song on the album, except for “Bambi”, seemingly lacks either a good chorus, solid lyrics, etc. But this one seems to have it all… exclusive of the fact that it’s kind short. But then again, short songs is not something unfamiliar to Tokyo Police Club. I’m loving the lyrics here. While Dave’s classic rhymes continue to exist in it, they work very well with what’s going on here. It just makes sense – all of it. It’s catchy, well-crafted and reminds me of their debut album, which is always a good thing.
This track is a little unsettling for me. After every single listen my thoughts about it tend to change. I mean, it really does sound like a ton of other Tokyo Police Club songs, but at the very same time, it’s simple really pleasant to listen to. It gets really good at :43 with the chorus, as it sort of explodes a little bit and sets you into a trance – one that will have you dancing around, no doubt.
This one’s nice. It’s very much like the opening segment of “Favourite Food”. It’s fairly slow and calming throughout the entire song, in contrast to most of the other tracks, which are reckless and head-bop-worth. Equally good, just no dancing to this one.
Girls! “Gone” is amazingly reminiscent of Girls’s Album. This is such a good thing. It provides a nice change in tone from the rest of the album. “Gone”’s almost surf-rock chorus will send you straight to the beach. I’m serious. Especially since the lyrics go, “Gone to the coast, gone to the coast!” All in all, a cool, new-ish side of Tokyo Police Club that’s always nice to see.
Not a fan of “Big DIfference” at all. It doesn’t really seem to have any structure and quite frankly, it doesn’t really song good at all. The only decent part is a one-line blast that pumps up the song. Other than that, though, it’s a dry, almost pointless song. Thank goodness this isn’t the last track on the album. If it was, I’d be highly disappointed in TPC… seriously.
What was lost in “Big Difference” is absolutely made up for in “Not Sick”. This has the catchiest tune on the album, along with wicked-awesome lyrics and Dave Monk’s perfect tone. It’s just… a good song. Like, really. A good song. If you’re going to listen to one song on the album, let it be this!
Who knew that saving the best for last would apply here? Or at least one of the best. The best lyrics on the album, by far. Sweet lyrics, matched with good singing, plus music that sounds more like the good old Tokyo Police Club that we know = yes, please. A solid closing song for an album like Champ. It pretty much guarantees that we can expect good music in the future from this band.
It becomes quite obvious (through my writing and through the music that you’ll listen to come June 8th) that Tokyo Police Club didn’t completely stick to their Elephant Shell roots. This is both good and bad. While it is always healthy for a band to mature and develop through experimentation (and in turn, new albums), Champ doesn’t really seem to cut it. Yes, the band is fully entitled to broaden their musical horizons, but Champ seems to offer far too many similar sounding, sometimes almost boring/cliche’d tracks. There are definitely some good songs on the album, yes, but all in all, in comparison to their debut LP, Elephant Shell, this deserved one giant “Ehhh.”Tweet