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Tokyo Police Club – Elephant Shell

Tokyo Police Club has been getting chatted up since their inception in 2005 without blowing up, which is odd in this readymade and ready-to-be-exploited era of indie pop. Rather, up to now, TPC have been on a slow-burn path toward a lasting musical career by amassing a solid underground following. But with Tokyo Police Club’s debut Elephant Shell now out on Saddle Creek Records, and an impending tour with Weezer and Angels and Airwaves this fall, the foursome seems poised to start making a bigger wave.

Vocally, Dave Monks has kind of a nasal-y sound, a bit like Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. But Monks’s style is lilty and pleasing to the ear (not that Ounsworth’s isn’t, just not quite as much). Musically, the combination of Monks (who also plays bass), Josh Hook (guitar) and Graham Wright (keys) is very poppy and has great infectious hooks; and drummer Greg Alsop pushes the envelope with a very full, driving approach that almost pushes the band from the back. It’s a great combination of otherwise differing musical approaches.

“Graves” and “Tessellate” are the two standout singles released from Elephant Shell, but for my favorite example of their driving—yet often pessimistic—romanticism check out ‘In a Cave’, which was also released as a single. Or, just get the album. It’s solid from end to end.

Tokyo Police Club will perform at Monolith Festival in Red Rocks, September 14th, and at Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco on September 21st.


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