Tokyo Police Club — Elephant Shell
The great thing about TPC is that they are perpetually like a new boyfriend or girlfriend: when you listen to their songs, you just feel plain excited and love them for what they are, and don’t immediately associate them with some other band. Lead singer/bassist David Monks’ vocals are halfway between drunken slurring and a masculine charm that seems to be lost these days in a sea of Ben Gibbards and Colin Meloys, like your college buddy who always loosened up after a few beers. The songs are strangely sparse with enough room for fast, dancey drumbeats and a perfect equation consisting of crunchy guitar riff, driving bassline, and bright electronic keyboards.
Almost every song is a standout track, but “Your English Is Good” feels destined for long hot roadtrips with everyone in the back yelling “give us your vote / give us your vote! / if you know / what’s good for you.” The first time I heard the perfectly noisy intro to “Sixties Remake” it made me want to sell my acoustic guitar, buy a brand new fuzz pedal and never look back. “Tessellate” begins with a cascade of distorted guitars playing in harmony before the relentless sound of Greg Alsop beating the snare drum and hi-hat to a pulp kicks in.
All but one of the 11 tracks shy away from hitting the 3-minute mark, so that by the time one song ends and another begins you want more of the previous but can’t get enough of the next one.
Simply put, this record is awesome. It’s destined to go down in the Summer 2008 hall of fame, so if it’s not already on your iPod, hop to it.
And now I think I’ll stop writing and give these songs yet another listen.