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Britspotting w/ Matt McGrath

CD of The Week

Week of 10/15/18

    Tokyo Police Club - TPC (Dine Alone)

    Showing they're not ready to throw in the towel, Canadian indie darlings Tokyo Police Club have returned with their (roughly) self-titled album, TPC.

    The album marks the band's first full-length record since 2014's Forcefield and showcases the struggles an artist may encounter along the way: frustration, loneliness, fatigue, heartbreak, and anger. Despite the lows, it also illuminates the joys and fun of everyday life.

    Beginning with "New Blues," the group shows they're here to deliver a steady stream of indie and pop rock. It strikes a chord almost immediately as frontman Dave Monks declares, "I've been low and I've been down, and I don't want to go there anymore." The song strives to elicit a feeling of triumph while acknowledging the dark low points that make you victorious in the end.

    Arguably the most upbeat track on the album, "Hercules," sees the band conveying the feeling and atmosphere of a fun, carefree party. As the album flows along we're treated to tracks like "Simple Dude," which begins with a different musical feel than the rest of the album. Much like the lyrics, the melody from the guitar and the accompanied vocals start simple yet engaging. The song is seemingly about an average guy making a case for being a simple man, as Monks pleads, "I'm just a simple dude with an ordinary mind," and later in the song, "I'm just a simple dude with a complicated soul."

    Tracks like "DLTFWYH" take the band into unfamiliar territory. The chorus of the song slows down and urges what the title's abbreviation really means - "Don't let them f*** with your heart." "Can't Stay Here" focuses on the idea of leaving a current situation for the better, while "Outtatime" centers on indecision and uncertainty.

    "Ready to Win" serves as the album's lighthearted take on past mistakes. It makes extensive use of profanities to show that despite your past, you can still be ready to win. Its sing-songy vocals pair nicely with acoustic blues guitar through the first several verses, which eventually crescendos as the full band join later in the song as the song offers advice to "f*** up like a pro, f*** up like a saint."

    Tokyo Police Club has come close to calling it quits in recent years. TPC reaffirms that the group still enjoys making music and doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. The band returns to Philadelphia at Boot & Saddle on March 13, 2019.

    Review by Dan Baker

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