Published Mar 25, 2014Tokyo Police Club frontman Dave Monks recently said "It just gets easier to be yourself as you get older." This encapsulates how the band approached making a new album: the Newmarket, ON quartet took a note from their success and decided to cut themselves off from outside noise to make something all their own. This purer product is Forcefield, a record that rewrites the book of Tokyo Police Club by trading in the ambitious indie-rock of Champ for a tight, clean and radio-ready aesthetic.
Right away, the record throws you into the three-part indie pop epic "Argentina," hinting at the sonic hills and valleys that await on the record, where one moment guitars strike riff-rock melodies along the drums and bass, and next descend into a synth-lined interlude with spacious guitar accents outlining Monk's poetry, which maintains all the nostalgic, high school-in-the-suburbs charm it's had since the days of their debut record Elephant Shell.
Hooks ultimately steal the show on the album, especially on tracks like "Hot Tonight," a party anthem, undeniably catchy and destined for singalongs with crowds at future concerts, and "Gonna Be Ready," fusing together the song's bombastic guitar-and-drums intro with Monks' vocals. One of the finest, and most unexpected tunes is "Toy Guns," which has hints of Americana with its swaying refrain.
Forcefield strips down the Tokyo formula to its most basic components of guitar riffing, a strong sense of melody and a brilliant ear for unforgettable hooks, which has birthed some of their finest work yet. (Dine Alone)