TOKYO POLICE CLUB "Elephant Shell" Saddle Creek

Friday, April 25, 2008

TOKYO POLICE CLUB"Elephant Shell"Saddle Creek

TOKYO POLICE CLUB's new full-length CD sounds utterly British. The 11 songs on "Elephant Shell" are brisk and brief and as clever as they are dynamic. As it already demonstrated on two EPs, the Ontario, Canada, quartet puts familiar power-pop strategies to canny use. Not only do the songs quit well before they're exhausted, but the arrangements pivot on the melodic equivalent of a dime.

Singer-bassist David Monks and his cohorts sometimes cut back to just bass, drums and vocals, as they do for much of the infectious "Your English Is Good." Yet the music never sounds undernourished. Cooed "ooohs" or shouted "heys" buttress Monks's vocals, Josh Hook's guitar parries with Graham Wright's keyboards and the occasional ringer (that sounds like a cello on "The Harrowing Adventures of . . . ") expands the group's palette.

Don't expect Tokyo Police Club to become the sort of group that someday records with a symphony orchestra, but the band's skills give it plenty of room to grow.

-- Mark Jenkins

Appearing Tuesday with Smoosh and Meligrove Band at the Black Cat (202-667-7960, Doors open at 8.

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