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Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell

Tokyo Police Club, Elephant Shell

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

CANADIAN indie rockers Tokyo Police Club deliver their keenly-anticipated debut LP, Elephant Shell, off the back of two well-received EPs and immediately impress.

Built on the same rapid-fire foundations of their previous work, the LP is a quick blast of energy that endears itself without really threatening to break new ground. Rather, it’s a quick shot in the arm for indie fans who get their musical kicks from the likes of Hot Hot Heat or early Idlewild.

The guitars are melodic, the vocals assertive and the songs last no longer than three minutes each. It will leave you thirsting for more.

Of the songs to stand out, former single Tessellate is a real gem – featuring a giddy head-rush of piano swirls, hand-clap beats and pounding drums. Vocally, Dave Monks is really on fine form, and shares many similarities with a certain Roddy Woomble. The chorus is a cracker and sure to become a firm live favourite.

Elsewhere, though, there’s plenty to enjoy. Juno, with its global-sweeping lyrics (“I’ve got a place in the Arctic circle…”), glockenspiel-tinged backbeats and snappy style, is another hit in waiting, while The Harrowing Adventures Of… is evidence of the band’s newfound maturity as they graduate to long-player status – a beautifully composed concoction of glockenspiels, strings and low-key beats. It’s the most sensitive track on the album.

Your English Is Good, meanwhile, is a shout-along cracker that’s actually worth shouting about to friends; a song so infectious that you can’t but help chanting along with it and dancing yourself into oblivion. Likewise, the tireless energy of early offering, In A Cave.

Throughout the album, though, there’s some sharp bursts of melody courtesy of Josh Hooks’ strong guitar work, plenty of funky bass that gives proceedings a post-punk energy at times, and a keen sense of urgency that ensures it never outstays its welcome.

Sure, they’re not doing anything radically different, but what they do, they do brilliantly and Elephant Shell marks a fun, vibrant debut that leaves them well poised for the future.

Download picks: In A Cave, Tessellate, The Harrowing Adventures Of…, Your English Is Good, Juno

Track listing:

  1. Centennial
  2. In a Cave
  3. Graves
  4. Juno
  5. Tessellate
  6. Sixties remake
  7. The Harrowing Adventures Of…
  8. Nursery Academy
  9. Your English Is Good
  10. Listen to the Math
  11. The Baskervilles