released June 8th, 2010

from the album - Breakneck Speed

from all music

Toronto's quirky, high-energy indie rock outfit Tokyo Police Club features vocalist/bassist Dave Monks, keyboardist/vocalist Graham Wright, guitarist/percussionist Josh Hook, and drummer/percussionist Greg Alsop. The band formed in the wake of the breakup of the foursome's previous project; after taking a break for several months, the musicians regrouped as Tokyo Police Club in 2005. They began performing live that summer, and that fall they played the Montreal Pop Festival, where the audience's rousing reception convinced the group to make Tokyo Police Club a full-time venture. Monks quit school, and early in 2006 the band signed with local label Paperbag Records and began recording their debut EP, A Lesson in Crime, which was released that spring.

Buoyed by blog and MySpace buzz, Tokyo Police Club embarked on their largest tour yet that fall. Around the same time, A Lesson in Crime was reissued with wider distribution, and 2008 saw the release of the band's full-length debut, Elephant Shell. By the end of the year, Tokyo Police Club had toured in support of the album and already begun working on a follow-up record, Champ, which they ultimately released in 2010.

album review

Tokyo Police Club make some adjustments to tempo, mood, and song length on this sophomore album, released two years after the group’s Elephant Shell debut. The danceable indie rock that helped launch Tokyo Police Club’s career hasn’t been entirely abandoned, but it does take the back seat during this midtempo ride, which seems less interested in working up a sweat than exploring new directions. “Bambi” is one of the only songs to kill two birds with one stone; kinetic and tuneful, it also experiments with electronic keyboard effects, marking one of the few instances in which Tokyo Police Club challenge themselves without losing sight of their strengths. Elsewhere, though, the band can’t quite juggle all of its priorities without letting some of the balls drop. The guys have become more patient with their craft -- most of these songs are over three minutes long, a first in the TPC catalog, and Dave Monks sings them with a world-weary baritone -- but such patience comes at the expense of the band’s energy, which seems to decrease as the album progresses. Champ is still a melodic, eclectic record, but it often feels like the work of some other band.

Track Listing

1 Favourite Food Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 3:56
2 Favourite Colour Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 2:37
3 Breakneck Speed Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 3:43
4 Wait Up (Boots of Danger) Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 3:09
5 Bambi Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 2:46
6 End of a Spark Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 3:36
7 Hands Reversed Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 3:19
8 Gone Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 3:04
9 Big Difference Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 2:58
10 Not Sick Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 2:58
11 Frankenstein Alsop, Hook, Monks, Wright 3:29