Album Review: Tokyo Police Club – Forcefield
It wasn’t surprising that the internet began to buzz with excitement when Tokyo Police Club released a mysterious picture indicating that there was a really good chance that new music was on its way. Being a fan of the band and having waited four years, I was very excited for whatever was about to come.
The first glimpse at “Argentina (Parts I, II, III)” showed that the band was not going to follow the current music trends. Tokyo Police Club was clearly going to stick to what they do best; making catchy, upbeat, indie-rock. Now you could say that a band that rests completely on their laurels will fall by the wayside because all their music sounds the same. However, the other thing that Tokyo Police Club does well is make music that is almost impossible not to fall in love with.
“Argentina (Parts I, II, III)”, for example, looks a bit daunting at eight and a half minutes, but the three parts flow so nicely together that you hardly notice the time passing. Thumping drums and distorted guitars kick the track off before settling into the first chorus. The song remains high energy until the 5 minute mark where it settles into David Monk’s soft vocals over subdued guitars. Part III kicks in around the 6 minute mark, picking up the tempo slightly. The song makes me think of a road trip to the beach. Part I is the car ride with the windows down and you and your friends singing at the top of your lungs. Part II is when you finally arrive, a bit tired and subdued as you walk onto the beach at dusk. Part III is when you finally get the bonfire going night falls over the water, building until everyone decides, on a whim, to toss caution to the wind and run into the ocean.
The entire album is the perfect anthem for summer. “Hot Tonight” mixes jangly guitars, catchy hooks, and a bunch of ‘Ooos’ to sing along with. It’s a true ode to not caring; “Standing in a world with the streetlights on / I don’t keep my sneakers white / All I really got is a name and a buck / To get me to another life / And I wonder what you’re doing tonight”. While the sentiment isn’t poetry, it’s a bright little pop number that will be stuck in your head long into autumn.
The album doesn’t stray too far from the indie pop rock path, but tracks like “Gonna Be Ready” and Tunnel Vision” definitely help to make the journey interesting. “Gonna Be Ready” brings the angst with muffled bass and a slower tempo than the rest of the 8 tracks that make up the album. :”Tunnel Vision” is a great, raw garage rock track filled with thick bass lines and a strange barking sample throughout. These tracks help fill out the album a bit and are definite highlights.
Even if Tokyo Police Club aren’t venturing into new territory, they still put out a fantastic album. I’ve been listening to The New York Times stream since it was released a few days ago and I’ll definitely continue to listen to the album for months to come. While the musical trend seems to be skewing more toward the electro-pop-rock side of things, I’m happy bands like Tokyo Police Club can avoid jumping onto the bandwagon just to try to keep up. As long as they can keep consistently putting out great indie rock gems, they won’t have an issue staying relevant.