Tokyo Police Club
@ the Spiritbar, Tuesday, April 26 · 8-11:30 pm
With Vancouver's Said The Whale and Dinosaur Bones out of Toronto.
For a band that burst on the scene with an ecstatically received 16 minutes of music (2006's A Lesson In Crime EP) followed in rapid fire succession by additional EPs and singles (Smith, “Your English Is Good”) and a debut album (2008’s Elephant Shell) all in under two years time, you’d think 26 months between albums would be an interminable wait.
And it might well have been for Tokyo Police Club, had they not toured relentlessly in support of that first album through August of 2009 — and started writing new songs virtually the second their previous record was put to bed.
So the nine month gap between the close of that tour and the June 8 release of Champ, Tokyo Police Club’s second full length album and first for the mom+pop label, has been anything but boring or unproductive.
Quite the opposite in fact; the Newmarket Ontario quartet ended up happily immersing itself more fully in its craft than ever.
Greg Alsop (drums), Josh Hook (guitar), David Monks (vocals, bass) and Graham Wright (keys/percussion) challenged and redefined their songwriting and performing chops and techniques from day one of pre-production, and, together with producer Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith), ultimately created the defining record of their career to date.
Tokyo Police Club took its first baby steps toward finding that voice with its formation in 2005. The band was off and running the following year, releasing the debut EP A Lesson In Crime to instant and universal acclaim.
One more EP (Smith), a digital-only single (“Your English Is Good”) and a few world tours later, Tokyo Police Club’s first full length album, Elephant Shell was released in April 2008.
Elephant Shell’s release was preceded by multiple sold out shows in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto, and followed by appearances on The Late Show With David Letterman, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and, bizarrely enough, Desperate Housewives.
Critical response to the full length was even more enthusiastic and diverse, with the likes of GQ (“Strokes-caliber catchiness”), Elle (“a smart, furiously played sugar-rush debut”), Rolling Stone (“poised to become the biggest Canadian export since Molson”) and more giving thumbs up.
The guys circled the globe in support of Elephant Shell for approximately a year and a half, finally coming off the road in August of 2009.
All of which brings us to Tokyo Police Club unveiling Champ to ears and eyes the world over, as the band embarks on a tour as special guests of Passion Pit that will take them through the end of June.
Barely hours after that tour concludes, the boys will kick off a headlining tour that will find them headlining through the summer, combining Champ material with the numerous fan favorites in their live set.
“There’s really not one thing to sum it up,” says Monks of the record. “Musically we didn’t follow any kind of framework or preferred kind of song. Any direction we went is a direction that just felt fun.
“Or you could say,” he concludes, “it just sounds like us.”
Advance tickets starting at $15.