Given the heaping help of hype that accompany this one, one could be forgiven for confusing Tokyo Police Clubs Elephant Shell (Saddle Creek) for anything but a debut album. Plenty of folks sort of lost their collective shit over A Lesson in Crimes 16 minutes worth of music back in 06. And both the Smith EP and the Your English is Good single have helped tide fans of the bands crystalline song craft over since then. All of which actually makes Elephant Shell Tokyo Police Clubs debut full-length
if 28 measly minutes qualifies as a long player.
There is a reason for the short cycle through. With all but one song clocking in under 3 minutes, the Toronto-ish band are a calculating bunch of Canucks, and their pension for efficiency lay firmly on display at all times throughout the record. Tracks like Juno, Nursery, Academy and Centennial are packed taut and tight. But a peak inside reveals a band that places demanding expectations on their art. Melodies listeners wont soon forget, dare deviling feats of energy, guitars that streak across the sky like fighter pilots, and the 20/20 pulse from an always pounding rhythm section
Tokyo Police Club know both what they want and how to get it, committing all tracks to tape in warm, crisp, and pristine recorded qualities.
Course none of this means the album is an instant guarantee. Like Death Cab for Cutie (whom they most resemble sonically) and the Decemberists (who they most resemble vocally), Elephant Shell is ultimately a rather polarizing listen. Where one listener might find the bands semi-romantic brand of neatly kept guitar songs completely appealing, another will hear utter atrociousness
which is fine. Dont fault a band for not being all things to all people. What matters most is that they be all things to enough people
something Tokyo Police Club has never had a problem doing. David Pitz