Friday, March 21, 2008

Elephant Shell

It’s clear to me that the two most seminal records of the decade are Arcade Fire’s Funeral and The Strokes’ Is This It. There may be better records — Stars’ SYOF, Radiohead’s In Rainbows, to name two — but none have been more influential: Funeral for its propulsive yet cerebral tone (not to mention all the shouting and handclapping) and Is This It for its reinvention of post-punk (or is it pre-punk?) garage rock.
     Falling somewhere in the middle, both musically and geographically, are Newmarket’s own Tokyo Police Club. On the heels of two critically lauded EPs, A Lesson in Crime and the Smith EP (containing my 10th favourite song of 2007, “Box”), TPC finally release their full-length debut, Elephant Shell. And just as Los Campesinos! before them, they may have fired off their best shots with their pre-releases.
     That’s not to say Elephant Shell isn’t any good: “In a Cave” and “Juno,” with its bouncy bass riff and shrewd piano work, pick up where those terrific EPs left off. And the mid-album slowdown, “The Harrowing Adventures of...,” is a welcome change of pace for the often overexcited band. But there’s enough filler here to leave me mildly disappointed. Really, is this it? I was hoping for more. B+
Tokyo Police Club: The Harrowing Adventures of... (mp3)
Tokyo Police Club: Juno (mp3)

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