...Sometimes the songs sound unfinished, as though the band got distracted by an ice...
Jaime Gill 2007-02-16
Reviewing Tokyo Police Club without mentioning the Strokes would be like reviewing early Oasis and not mentioning the Beatles, proof of either deafness or dishonesty. From the clattering snare drums, bass rumble and serrated guitars that open “A Lesson In Crime”, TPC wear their sonic debt to the sulky New Yorkers heavily, not helped by David Monks’ appropriation of Julian Casablancas’ mumble.
Where TPC happily differ from the sulky New Yorkers is in their playful exuberance and keen intelligence, not to mention a refreshing brevity of approach. Debuting with a mini album of eight tracks is unusual enough, but when each track clocks in at around two minutes it seems the latest confirmation of the slow, painful, iTunes assisted death of the long player record. This is a record for stunted modern attention spans.
Indeed, like fellow Canadians Hot Hot Heat the band come across as hyperactive throughout. This can be exciting – as on the manic jangle of single “Cheer It On”, or the longing, minor key “Nature Of The Experiment” – but sometimes the songs sound unfinished, as though the band got distracted by an ice cream van halfway through writing. Thus “Cut Cut Paste” never truly builds on its gonzoid Black Sabbath riff, while “Be Good” seems to limp aimlessly from the speakers.
There is one undoubted highlight – the abrasive, ferociously paced “Shoulders and Arms” – and Monks is a smart, quirky lyricist, but it is telling that after the mere eighteen minutes this album lasts TPC are becoming a little boring and repetitive. Still, they’re young dogs who can still learn some new tricks. They just shouldn’t learn them all from the Strokes.