Mom + Pop Records
By Eileen Tilson
With the ridiculous influx of Canadian ice cubes, like Celine Dion, Nickelback and Justin Bieber, it is easy to miss something actually hot coming out of our northern neighbor, especially if you have a name that sounds like a group of Asian law enforcers. However, the indie-wise know that Tokyo Police Club could quite possibly be Ontario’s finest exports since maple syrup.
After spending virtually the last four years touring around the world, and putting out groovily addicting music like 2006 EP Lesson in Crime and 2008’s Elephant Shell, it is no surprise that Tokyo Police Club’s latest album Champ has the Canadian foursome reminiscing about sleeping in their own beds. Produced in sunny California by Rob Schnapf (Elliot Smith) and released on Mom + Pop Records, the 11-song LP is the top down, head bopping playlist for the summer.
Within the first five tracks of the album, you can imagine signer/bassist Dave Monks flipping through an old yearbook while heading to yet another city, and thinking about his friends of Christmas’ past. Starting off with the playfully literate pair of songs “Favourite Food” and “Favourite Colour,” the band remains true to their spazztastic guitars and noise for the nerdy, while keeping at a Strokes level of catchiness.
“Wait Up,” the first single on the record is giddy and quick, and its wordless chorus will stick in your throat until you need a glass of milk. Each song seems to be a story from a band member’s past. In “Bambi,” Monks seems to be slithering in after a long night, singing “I wanna tell you there’s a really good reason why I came home wasted in the middle of the night.”
The only downside on the LP by the time you get to the second half of the album, the songs become semi-redundant while missing the fun hooks. Like Vampire Weekend, TPC is a collection of smart boys with a thesaurus in their pockets, but fortunately they seem to have more ambition than to be Blog Band of the Week. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself telling your friends that “Champ is good, eh?”