Tokyo Police Club – Forcefield
With all the familiarity of their first three albums – striking vocals, mellow yet cheerful descants and illustrative lyrical content – Tokyo Police Club’s newest nine-track addition Forcefield struggles to offer something new.
Opening with Argentina (Parts I, II, III), this eight-minute piece has a strong intro – fast-paced with a steady beat that draws you in. As if sharing an experience, the song moves from one issue to another, eloquently explaining every feeling, reminding you more and more of the band’s original appeal.
But while the album as a whole encompasses many of the attributes that make their early works such a success, as a fan you may find yourself quite neutrally engaged.
Even their upbeat lead single Hot Tonight is incapable of swaying you in one direction over another. Dave Monks’ vocals are as alluring as ever, but the acquainted tone of this track simply isn’t as exciting as it once may have been. Furthermore, unimaginative lyrics like “I didn’t need the money but the money was nice”, referring to the insurance money collected when burning down a house, does little to provoke or stir any emotion.
That one track aside, overall their material is quite provocative, touching on various subjects like relationships and substance use in a light-hearted fashion, with songs like Gonna Be Ready and Tunnel Vision.
Their sound and execution without question is stimulating. In Toy Guns the way in which a softer melody accompanies the chorus of “when every other kid on the block has got a shotgun” but then is quickly undercut by fast, short riffs on guitar between verses is truly compelling but little pushes the envelope. Similar in composure and style to Elephant Shell and Champ, this latest compilation is equally comparable but is somewhat lacking creatively.
A worthwhile listen nonetheless that grows more catchy with each listen.
Forcefield is released on 24th March 2014. For further information or to order the album visit Tokyo Police Club’s website here.
Watch the video for Argentina (Parts I, II, III) here: