Tokyo Police Club is a band that has fallen off my radar in recent months. I had my fling with the 2006 EP A Lesson In Crime during the fall of 2007, briefly glanced at debut full-length Elephant Shell in the fall of 2008, and then became enamored with Elephant Shell‘s lead single “Tessellate” during spring 2009. Then this year I gave sophomore album Champ a go. Champ hasn’t quite grown on me, despite some of my best friends’ efforts to convince me it’s the band’s best one yet.
The one thing that has stood out to me on Tokyo Police Club’s newer music is the change in tone of singer and bass player Dave Monks’ voice. On A Lesson In Crime, there was an edge. A sharp edge. An edge that told you that the world was going to end in 2009, an edge that made it seem like there was a sinister nature of that experiment. The edge was even there on Elephant Shell in “Tessellate,” as Monks sings about running barefoot through the night. But it seems to have disappeared as the band grows and on Champ.
This lack of edge is the one thing that has me on the edge of becoming a champion of Champ. But “Wait Up (Boots of Danger)” is slowly turning my mind around on the album. Through the song, and its innocuous video featuring tons and tons of awesome DOGS(!) now up on Much Music, I’ve come to realize the transformation of the edge into something else.
While Monks’ voice was an edge on A Lesson In Crime and Elephant Shell, on Champ it slowly is softened, rounded, and molded into an arm that catches and wraps itself around the listener. “Wait Up” is the perfect example of this. Monks (or Dank Moves as his adoring suburban Baltimore fanbase calls him) doesn’t seem to be attempting to cut through anything on the new album. He just wants his subjects to be close to him. And I really can’t argue with that. While as a whole, Tokyo Police Club appears to have taken on a much more serious style, this video really shows that the band is still the same crazy kids from Canada. The plethora of dogs swimming and running amuck in the “Wait Up” video seems logical. The dogs are having fun. Tokyo Police Club is having fun. Soon I’ll be having fun listening to Tokyo Police Club?
Watch the video for Tokyo Police Club’s “Wait Up (Boots of Danger)” here. You have to do a little searching for it, but you should be able to see it on the home page where it says “Video Premiere.”