Reviews

Elephant Shell

Author: Seth McKelvey
04/07/2008 | Red and Black - Uiniversity of Georgia | www.redandblack.com | Live Show Preview
It's exciting, sweaty, loud, and in two fast minutes it's over, before it even has a chance to slow down.

That's a typical song from Canadian indie-rock band Tokyo Police Club. Since 2005, the band has been garnering attention for its quirky, fast-paced EP "A Lesson In Crime." The band is now preparing to release its debut full-length album, "Elephant Shell."

Keyboardist Graham Wright said the album was a product of a lot more hard work than the EP, and the band had a lot more time in the studio to focus on smaller details.

"We were really able to flesh the songs out and make sure they were perfect," Wright said.

Wright said the songs on "Elephant Shell" are still fairly short.

"They're denser, there's more instruments and stuff, but they still do everything they need to do in two, two and a half minutes, which I guess is how we roll," he said.

However, the band has moved on with new ideas since its inception, and "Elephant Shell" is distinct from the EP in many ways, Wright said.

For example, while the lyrics of the EP often touched on dystopian visions of robots and technology, Wright said the content of the new album is more down to earth.

"I don't want to say that stuff is silly, because I don't think it is," he said of the EP's lyrics. "We're still not really tackling serious themes, but I think the songs are maybe a little more personal and I think the lyrics are a little more refined."

Wright said he hates to use the word "maturing" to describe the band's growth process and added confidence, but feels it is a natural part of any band's career.

"I think every band matures album to album, whether or not it's really obvious or not," he said.

"We went from being 18 years old to being 21 years old. We've had lots of time to learn how to play our instruments better, learn how to write songs better, to be a better band."

"Elephant Shell" is a mere 28 minutes long, following the 16-minute EP which received criticism for its short length.

In response, Wright said it's not something the band can do anything about.

"We're not going to go in there and be like, 'Eh, the album is only 20 minutes long, we should just copy and paste some more chords in there to make it 35 minutes long,'" he said.

Wright said the band focuses on each individual song, and doesn't worry about how long everything will turn out in the end.

"It's always been one of our big goals to make our live shows compelling and fun to watch and memorable," Wright said.

Meredith Jones, a freshman from Marietta majoring in international affairs and economics, said she is a big fan of the band and is excited to see Tokyo Police Club perform live for the first time..

"Their music is really catchy, but it's not too poppy or too mainstream," Jones said. "I find myself listening to them ... 24/7."
Elephant Shell

Elephant Shell

LP / CD / MP3