Reviews

Elephant Shell

Author: Dan Aquilante
02/27/2009 | New York Post | www.nypost.com | Live Show Preview
TAKE a breath, blink an eye, drink a beer, and the Tokyo Police Club show at Webster Hall was over.

At least that's what it felt like Wednesday at the Canadian band's whirlwind hour-plus concert, in which the quartet's brief set was filled with speedy 2 -minute songs tossed at the fans like cards from a dealer.

There were no ballads, just fast, upbeat rockers that made the dance floor churn and singer/bassist Dave Monks wail. As easy as TPC made it all seem, there wasn't a hint of the sloppiness you'd expect from a garage band.

These guys are an oiled rock machine, thanks to a relentless string of small club appearances. At this concert, that musical tightness translated into a commanding performance in the larger Webster Hall setting.

Nonstop gigging around Manhattan and Brooklyn also earned them a very loyal New York alt-rock/hipster following that was loose enough to move to the band's snappy songbook at this show. There was even a mini-mosh brewing on the floor during the group's best-known tunes such as "The Harrowing Adventures of . . . " with its "Two wrongs making right" catch line.

While Monks was an energetic frontman who bounced on his toes as he sang and banged at the bass, you couldn't help but watch the frantic, chicken-on-a-hot-plate dancing of keyboardist Graham Wright. As Wright sang backup vocals and jittered to the tunes, his work at the synthesizers added unusual depth to the mostly simple drum/bass/guitar arrangement.

In what was a near perfect show, TPC showed its warts during the final encore, a cover of the Clash's "Train in Vain." It seemed as if everyone onstage was having a blast with that song - unfortunately, they just couldn't play it very well. Maybe it was too long.
Elephant Shell

Elephant Shell

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