Review: Tokyo Police Club – Champ

Tokyo Police Club

While I was planning to write about Tokyo Police Club’s 10-year anniversary of Champ last June, I never got around to finishing my retrospective. So, this one goes to 11. This is one of those great indie rock records that has aged gracefully and ended up being the breakthrough album for Tokyo Police Club. Champ followed up their debut, Elephant Shell, and showcased the growth in the four musicians that made up the band. Frontman and bassist Dave Monks sounded as captivating and confident as he ever did on this album, and Greg Alsop, Josh Hook, and Graham Wright helped solidify the band’s great chemistry here. The album was produced by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Saves the Day, Elliott Smith) and he really was able to get the best out of the band on Champ.

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Review: Tokyo Police Club – TPC


On TPC, the self-titled and fourth full-length LP from Tokyo Police Club, they crank up the guitars and hone in on their songwriting. Coming off of two quick EPs, entitled Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Part I and II), after the success of my favorite effort to date by the band, Forcefield, Tokyo Police Club wanted to reinvent themselves once again. What we are left with is a solid mix of guitar-driven rock by a band still trying to figure out who they are.

Starting off the 12-song set is the track called “New Blues,” that reminded me a bit of the garage-rock style of The Strokes with Dave Monks trademark earnest vocal delivery. When Monks sings, “Battle cry, I can barely sleep/It happens every single time/It’s in my heart/It’s in my soul/For once I don’t want it to be denied,” you can feel every heartbeat and drop of emotion that went into the song. It also doesn’t hurt to have a very talented guitarist backing Monks’ words in Josh Hook, who certainly lives up to his last name by crafting several key hooks in many of the memorable songs found on this album.

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