Tokyo Police Club: Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Part One)

Tokyo Police Club were a hype band in 2006. Ten years and multiple full-length releases later, Tokyo Police Club have continued to make pretty much the same music.
Tokyo Police Club
Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Part One)
Mean Beard Recordings

Tokyo Police Club are a pop-rock band who came up in Toronto in the mid-2000s. These were the days of indie rock’s peak-hype, and Tokyo Police club are undeniable symbols of the period. These were also the days that people with slow internet connections, like myself at the time, cruised the seemingly endless world of music blogs looking to find a few free tracks. That’s how I first heard about Tokyo Police Club, a random track on a random blog hidden deep in the ’00s. They fit in with the taste of the time which was anything that could be considered life-affirming indie rock — hand-claps, bombastic lyrics, and all.

Ten years and multiple full-length releases later, Tokyo Police Club have continued to make pretty much the same music. Their new EP Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Part One) continues on essentially the same path as the full-lengths that preceded them. They still play fastidious indie rock that still causes all the same positive stomach turns as “Toy Guns” or “Wait Up (Boots of Danger)”, and David Monks still sings in that almost-twee yelp. So, Tokyo Police Club have not changed. If you were a fan before, you will be a fan now.

The album opener “Not My Girl” starts with a muscular, angular guitar part, which could easily have been on the Strokes’ First Impressions of Earth or even Tokyo Police Club’s own Forcefield, but it quickly slides right back into the windy indie we expect from these guys. Throughout the rest of the album we hear the familiar sounds of jangly guitars, fuzzy guitars, stretched out and beautiful sounding synths (especially on the opening of “PCH”), a delightfully bouncy rhythm section, and the sticky-sweet voice of lead singer Monks.

And those vocals compliment the lyrics as well as the cheese compliments the pizza — one always needs the other. So, with such a posturing yet twee delivery, we would expect some stories of the carefree life of youth fused in with quests for meaning and happiness, and that’s exactly what we get here.

The second track from the album showcases this fusion with lines like “tearing up the speakers of my GTO / Loud enough to piss you off,” juxtaposed to lines like “adding all the words together one by one / Hoping that you’re not in love.” Later, Tokyo Police Club use the tornadic squeal of guitars in the chorus of “Losing You” as a backdrop to Monks saying, “I wish you could hide it away, but I can’t keep pretending,” once again mixing the confidence that comes from youth with the uncertainty that life pushes us all toward eventually.

In a recent interview with keyboardist Graham Wright, he expounded upon the band’s history, noting the anxiety that reviews produce. The music itself says differently, though, because Tokyo Police are still sliding down the same path musically they always have been. It must be fine with Monks and Tokyo Police Club because the first lyric Monks utters on the EP is “time doesn’t mean much to me.” Personally, I can feel 2006 all over this record myself and I’m cool with it.

RATING 7 / 10