Published Jan 01, 2006When confronted with the prospect of an indifferent crowd, some tyro bands might shrug a resigned shoulder, or weep over a perceived unjust neglect of true artistry. But Tokyo Police Club whose name was chosen expressly for its oddity coined a guiding aphorism: "Keep it silly.
"We were aware that for our first shows no one would give a shit about us, so we asked ourselves, How can we make this the most ridiculous thing ever? explained TPC vocalist/bassist David Monks, speaking from a mobile phone while riding public transit. "Like with the big flag we use on stage, it was in our school musical and we just stole it. We used to give out cupcakes, too, but we dont have time to make them when were on the road.
Thats not to mention the sparklers that theyve distributed, which seems blatantly incendiary and hazardous, or the personalised pillows that the band handcrafted for sale. It may have been this combination of resourcefulness and enterprise that inspired Paper Bag Records to release TPCs seven-song EP, A Lesson in Crime, but more likely its the stuff that comes out of the speakers, since, somehow, the deeply innocuous subdivisions of Newmarket, Ontario have hatched a four-headed beast of tunefulness.
With immaculate production by the Uncuts Jon Drew, and appearances from Magneta Lanes Lexi Valentine and Nadia King, A Lesson in Crime may be the most varied 16 and a half minutes youll hear all year. Ray-gun guitars, taut drumming and tales of robots and ruinous republics showcase a pop talent studied in early Cure, Wolf Parade and most others in between.
That obvious musical education has superseded more formal learning for now since Monks and drummer Greg Alsop had to take time off school (read: drop out) to focus on their Club of Tokyo Policemen. "After we opened for Magneta Lane I decided that Id rather be in a band than be in school, Monks said. "So I left university and the day I got back in Toronto we had a show where Paper Bag told us they wanted to put out our record. It couldnt have been more perfect.