Ontario indie rock band Tokyo Police Club has been an alternative genre mainstay since their inception in 2005. Four years since their last album, Tokyo Police Club has released TPC, their fourth album overall, for their label Dine Alone.
TPC is a guitar driven record, featuring catchy melodic lines, meticulously played drums and muffled vocals. It all seems very prescribed, as if someone described in words what an alternative rock album should sound like, and Tokyo Police Club decided to execute that vision. Vocalist David Monks has an earnest, borderline whiny, voice that sounds both urgent and bored; it’s not particularly impactful, which often characterizes and separates great indie rock bands from mediocre ones.
The word best used to describe TPC is “unremarkable.” Nothing on the album stands out – about halfway through the album, it occurred to me that I had no conception of how many songs I had listened to; all the tracks sort of melted together. TPC sounds like any other indie rock album and extremely samey. Furthermore, the songwriting seems generic and low-effort. The lyrics are often repetitive with little substance, such as those in “Hercules”: “Might remember all the looks I never said / I’m not ready”.
Without vocalization and lyricism to redeem TPC, unfortunately there’s not much else to discuss. Some tracks are catchy and pleasant to listen to, such as “Pigs,” “Can’t Stay Here,” and “Edgy,” however nothing is particularly original or worth listening to. Perhaps the most experimental track is “Outtatime” which ends with a two minute weird, spacy interlude. “Ready to Win” is an expletive-ridden track that leans on the apparent edginess of the word “fuck” to carry itself, without much else. Apparently, no one bothered to inform Tokyo Police Club that saying “fuck” repeatedly isn’t cool or clever songwriting if that’s all the song is.
At 51 minutes, TPC is a long album that could have benefited from some editing. It overstays its already exhausting welcome. Throughout my listen of TPC, I found myself desperately wishing for something unique, or weird, that I hadn’t heard before – something, anything that would make listening to this album worth my time. I was left disappointed. There are plenty of indie rock albums that are worth your listen than TPC, so I’d recommend giving this one a pass.