Monday, April 28, 2008

Elephant Shell

I've been a big fan of Tokyo Police Club for over a year now. I found 'em on MYSPACE one lazy afternoon while I was sitting in the dorms (basically a lifetime ago). Back then, the band was giving their three songs away for free. These songs ("Cheer It On," "Nature of the Experiment," and "Be Good") were tight little (very short) alt-rock gems. The band had a more refined Strokes-like vibe. I played them for a few friends, and they thought the band was good.

Then a few months went by, and by God...I saw them in Rolling Stone! The band's E.P. (kids, go look this term up) A LESSON IN CRIME came out, and was damn good--if you don't believe me, go back and check out my gushing review.

Months and months later, the band has finally issued a proper album: ELEPHANT SHELL. And I hate to say it: but it's too little, too late. Instead of tight little alt-rock gems, what we have is pseudo-intellectual, literary art-rock. *YAWN* A few months ago Vampire Weekend did all of this (and more) much, much better.

With songs titled "Tessellate" and "Listen to the Math" Tokyo Police club have effectively lost me. Some of the band's former greatness shine through, like on "Sixties Remake" (which recalls the earlier "Nature of the Experiment") and the single "Your English is Good." But for the most part, the songs are bland, uninspired, mindlessly repetitive, and overall soulless.

In short, ELEPHANT SHELL is a dismal, boring record. The lead-singer just can't carry a full album. His "unique" vocal-styling outstay their welcome. The band's cutesy twinkling pianos wear thin but the ninth track. The "what-the-hell-are-you-taking-about" lyrics get old.

This is a huge disappointment and a mess. I'd had great hopes for Tokyo Police Club...but I guess the critics (and myself) were only fooled by yet another 'flavor-of-the-month' band.

Jason gives ELEPHANT SHELL a "D-"

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