Short, snappy, melodic.
“Elephant Shell” is the debut full length album from Canadian quartet Tokyo Police Club; the four piece have only been together since 2005 but they’ve already managed to master sweet swirling tunes built on a foundation of catchy melody and hooks that stay with you; they sound like they’ve been at it their whole lives. There is a fragile quality pervading the whole album, you feel sometimes as if breathing will make these beautifully formed, gentle songs float away on their own fuzz. Thankfully though, they are grounded by a solid layer of fully formed melodies that catch you unawares with their insistent nature and danceable beats.
Former single ‘Your English Is Good’ is the most poppy and catchy tune here, a fast moving Broken Social Scene-esque indie rock tune; but that doesn’t mean it’s the best track, there is so much more to be discovered. The whole album clocks in at a fleeting 28 minutes so it never outstays its welcome, but even though it’s full of short and snappy pop songs, not epic post-rock monsters, there are still plenty of swirling, completive moments to be had if that’s your thing.
Opener ‘Centennial’ is a fast moving, cute little indie tune with more substance than most; it heavily brings to mind the guitar pop of Death Cab For Cutie, with guitars ringing clear and true with a rumbling fuzzy bass line and gentle vocals, fans of DCFC should love it. ‘In A Cave’ brings in gang style backing vocals, shouted out above the tune they give an extra bit of drive to this anthem and are a feature of the TPC sound. ‘Graves’ has a danceable rhythm and sing along vocals as well as catchy riffs and that lovely rumbling bass sound. It’s difficult to pick out songs though, because overall there are no stand-out tracks, this is purely because it’s such a cohesive record that flows well and doesn’t have a bad tune in sight.
This is an album that’s a joy to listen to; sweet and melodic with a light summery heart, but with a core of fuzzy goodness, solid riffs and fantastic vocals that give depth and staying power, destined to be a classic hit.