Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Random Thoughts:: Tokyo Police Club & Handsome Furs

I was going to go ahead and review the new Tokyo Police Club record, but almost everyone on the Internet has already said anything that needed to be said, and then some. I've always had a kind of lukewarm relationship with the band - I liked the first EP, but never went back for multiple listens. Even when they took the stage at Sasquatch during the huge windstorm and the main stage was shut down, I kind of just chilled out and waited for Smoosh to come on.

They kind of said anything they needed on the first listen, but on Elephant Shell it appears the band is hoping to go deeper. Matthew over at IHM mentioned he hears a very clear shift towards a Death Cab sound, and after a few listens to the opener - Centennial - I have to agree.

They still have the same crunchy synth/guitar & hand claps - like the single In a Cave or Your English is Good - but gone is the raucous energy of youth and now they are writing songs for bigger and better things (be it movies, radio, stadium shows). I've never been enough of a fan to really try to dissect the record, but I can see how they have gotten to the level they are at so quickly. The record keeps the pace and energy and proves that this Newmarket band has the chops for a full length release, not just a few good EPs.
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Last night, Handsome Furs absolutely crushed a show @ Richards on Richards. Dan secured his spot as my favorite member of Wolf Parade and I was impressed by the energy and bulk the sounds have live. The drum machine boomed and it's possible that Boeckner and Perry's performance and energy ranks up there with my favorite so far this year.

Unlike the studio recordings of Plague Park, the sounds boomed. Instead of feeling spare, desolate and alone, the songs take on a new rebellious form. More anarchic than terrified and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that Alexei is much more confident on the old keyboard/drum machine. Dan feels comfortable letting her drive the songs, giving himself the freedom to add guitar flourishes and feedback wherever he sees fit.

Probably the best indication of the improvement in the band was the new song - which Boeckner said is about having a boner in your heart - that was mostly just vocals, a tambourine and a funky drum line. The focus was pushed onto Perry and the track sounded more like a Ghostland Observatory beat than anything else. Dan relished the chance to slink around in classic front man style as opposed to his hectic, chaotic style, but unlike GO songs that usually run long and get repetitive, the guitar jumps in at the perfect point and makes the song epic. If this is any indication what comes next for the Furs, I'm on board.

Totally worth catching this tour as it rolls through your town.

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Posted at 10:46 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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