I have to admit a bit of personal reverence with this band. Tokyo Police Club was one of those bands that really captured my teenage angst, anger, frustration, glee, and just about any other feeling I was experiencing toward the world at the time. The Canadian band completely reformatted my understanding of pop punk music, slipping hidden phrases of imaginative revenge and destruction. Of course, the group is most often understand as “alternative rock” or “indie” music, but their sound has proven much more. Coming out of an age buried in countless pop punk bands trying to set themselves apart, Tokyo Police Club was easily one of the most unique. Each track the band was able to put forth was a jumping attack of upbeat rhythms, yet the lyrics remained somber, angry and disgusted. Their first two albums, Elephant Shell and Champ, captured the thoughts of a growing boy, becoming a man while simultaneously struggling with the memories of his past he is so desperate to cling to.
It’s been too long since I’ve seen Tokyo Police Club live. It’s also been far too long since I’ve had the pleasure of immersing myself in a new completed piece of work by the group. In the Spring of 2014, I will have both these urges attended to. With a scheduled performance at The TLA on Friday, May 16th, the TPC will make their much awaited return to Philadelphia after a two-year stint (last appearing as an opening act for Foster the People). At the same time, we now finally have the band’s first full-length record in four years. Forcefield is a careful reminder that Tokyo Police Club is still alive, well and kicking. Admittedly, the album does, at times, dive into a poppy atmosphere that is even difficult for me to fully immerse myself in. That being said, it also dives into some truly beautiful new compositions and moments that are so staggeringly in tribute to the band’s signature sound, that you can’t help but be taken back to the band’s earlier works. “Toy Guns” challenges the band’s earlier works, utilizing their style, but twisting it into an entirely new sound, while “Feel the Effect” inspires a much more complex composition of earlier works, while also vindicating a classic TPC sound. Forcefield perhaps does not have the glitter and glamor of its preceding albums, sometimes getting lost in those churning poppy frequencies, but it still has its moments, and those moments are exceedingly strong. Josh Hook remains one of my most interesting guitarists to listen to.
For complete tour dates for Tokyo Police Club, check HERE!
Tokyo Police Club – Forcefield — Buy on iTunes
Funkadelphia Picks: “Toy Guns”, “Feel the Effect” & “Argentina (Parts I, II & III)”
01) “Argentine (Parts I, II & III)” [Music Video]
02) “Hot Tonight”
04) “Gonna Be Ready” [Live on CBC Music]
06) “Toy Guns” [Live on CBC Music]
07) “Tunnel Vision”