TPC marks a turning point for Canadian indie-rockers Tokyo Police Club. By now, the group has been around the block a couple of times, and instead of withering away into a footnote on the Wikipedia page of ‘indie’, they’ve made a concerted effort to be self-reflective and energetic about their music creation.
If weren’t for this kind of dedication to their craft, TPC would never exist. Tokyo Police Club were on the brink of an apathetic break-up before bassist and vocalist David Monks brought the rest of the team together and convinced the members to not throw the towel in (just yet, anyway). Life happens, and it’s easy to feel jaded, especially when you’re a band that shot to fame so quickly, during a time when indie-rock was at its peak. Instead of fading away, like many of those indie bands from the early 2000’s, Tokyo Police Club have taken the future into their own hands.
And you can hear it on their new record. There is a renewed energy and attitude on TPC that says ‘we did this for ourselves’. Tokyo Police Club drummer explains the process of making the new album and says, “If we’re not doing it for the sake of being a successful band, but just trying to make an album we’re happy with, it takes the pressure off. The expectation was just that we’d do something that would make us happy.“
Not only does the TPC album showcase a new energy from Tokyo Police Club, it also showcases an array of moods and kinds of songs, displaying the group’s versatility. The album feels well-rounded, beginning and ending on songs with similar energies, ‘New Blues’ and ‘Daisy Chain’ respectively. Although they each have their own particular sound, both are chilled-out tracks that display a kind of upbeat skepticism with the world around them.
The second track, ‘Pigs’, gets us right into the deep of the new album immediately, with rock ‘n’ roll guitar runs and a blatant critique of a capitalist society, particularly in relation to the music industry, it seems. Monks drawls, with attitude, “hey man, great show, here’s what you owe”. ‘Hercules’ takes the mood a little higher, with it’s happy-go-lucky melody, samples of friends laughing and cracking open beers and upbeat tempo.
Again, Tokyo Police Club showcase their versatility, with the next track, ‘Simple Dude’, a self-reflective and relatable song that starts tentatively and then jumps into a warm and loving chorus. This is also the track that the band just recently brought out a music video for, an animated set of visuals using lyrics and images scratched onto film negatives. The simplicity and honesty of the lyrics flying across the strips of film pairs perfectly with the track’s mood, one of the most vulnerable on the album, a call for intimacy.
‘Unseen’ shows yet more self-reflexivity and a great deal of maturity, using a combination of classic blues sounds and modern vocal techniques. Track six, ‘DLTFWYH’ seems to embody the whole mood of the album, ‘don’t let them fuck with your heart’; it’s a track that holds equal parts gentle introspection and attitude, which is exactly what ‘TPC’ is all about.
The next two tracks give a little bit of old-school Tokyo Police Club energy, with the youthful and upbeat ‘Can’t Stay Here’ and the vibrant and quirky ‘Outtatime’. ‘Ready To Win’ is certainly one of the most outstanding tracks from the album, and perhaps also part of the TPC mantra. It’s an honest track speckled with the f-word, an empowering and raw piece about the beauty in fucking up.
‘Edgy’ takes us to a more traditional place of songwriting, with much of the depth of the track lying in the honest lyrics, about dealing with expectations. The group takes us home with two more slower tracks, with the melancholy ‘One Of These Days’, a bittersweet love song and ‘Daisy Chain’, the sweet but every-quirky last track.
It’s quite clear that Tokyo Police Club have taken an almost-breakup and flipped it on its head. Perhaps this diverse and mature showcase of their music on TPC can be a lesson to us all; don’t let the industry get you down, use that energy to create something worth sharing and, most importantly, don’t let them fuck with your heart.
Listen to TPC below: