This is it then. When Tokyo Police Club released their A Lesson in Crime EP a few years back, the world was shocked. How could this fresh new indie band be so damn good? Seven songs that together lasted just around fifteen minutes, it was impossible not to get dragged into the hyperactive music, with frontman Monks often shrieking and shouting through a loud-hailer and fast handclaps perfectly timed to the beat and melody of the music. After these seven short songs that left such an impression, it was a waiting game for the first full length.
So, this is it then. The debut album of TPC is finally here and it has no doubt shocked most fans of the Canadian band that has been signed to Saddle Creek some time ago. Gone are the hyperactive vocals and fast handclapping, and in the place is the same old indie/emo teenage angst we've come to known and grow bored of.
At first, anyway. After a few plays, the ears get used to Monks' overly winy vocals (especially noticable on the re-recorded version of audience favorite Your English is Good) and the more laid back melodies and it becomes more obvious that it's still one of the best emo records made in recent years. The fire is still there, it is just more subtle.
It takes time to adapt to this more poppy Tokyo Police Club, but the focus on the strong pop songs they can make isn't a bad one per se. First single Tessellate might be a bit too cheesy for some, but on other comparable tracks, like In A Cave and Juno, it works better. Then there is the strange one out of the bunch, The Harrowing Adventures Of..., a song that seems out of place at first but in time unveils itself as one of the strongest emotional masterpieces.
On tracks where the edgier TPC is still present, like Sixties Remake and closer The Baskervilles, the longing for the rocking EP becomes more apparrent and the listener has to wonder: is it a good think this band went for another direction, since we already have A Lesson in Crime, or could they have done so much more with that sound? Still, the excentric soundscape TPC is known for is still present here. It's just now what the world expected. And the band that made A Lesson in Crime is still the one I love more.
Strange debut then. A solid one, but not as refreshing as it had could been.