Saddle Creek | Tokyo Police Club | Reviews


Elephant Shell

Author: Jim DeRogotis
04/20/2008 | Chicago Sun-Times | | Album Review
Formed in Newmarket, Ontario, these twenty-something indie-rockers garnered major buzz in 2006 with their debut EP "A Lesson In Crime," which whizzed by in an exuberant rush of eight songs in 18 minutes. Anticpation has been high for a proper album ever since, though now it's here, it's no easier than before to poinpoint why it's so endearing. Yes, there are the rollicking rhythms, nicely decorated by the conversational interplay of keyboard and guitar, though none of those sounds are new or unique. And while there are elements of pop-punk, garage-rock, power-pop and New Wave of New Wave, Tokyo Police Club doesn't fit neatly into any of those genres.

Singer and bassist Dave Monks and his mates do share some traits with indie-rock heroes of the moment such as the Decemberists and Vampire Weekend: There are those high, redy vocals and the college English maor approach to lyric-writing. "Dead lovers salivate/Broken hearts tessellate tonight," Monks sings in "Tessellate," a word I'm not ashamed to say I had to look up; Merriam-Websiter says it means "to form into or adorn with mosaic." But the pretenstions of Tokyo Police Clbu are never off-putting (as the Decemberists are to some) or smug (as Vampire Weekend definitely is), and in the end, its sheer glee and energetic devotion to big, brassy melodies carry the day.
Elephant Shell

Elephant Shell

LP / CD / MP3