Anna Marketti, ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
With light synth and guitars acting almost as background noise instead of as the main feature, Tokyo Police Club’s Forcefield opens up with a vocal-heavy track that is a bit bland. Reminiscent of the whiny, angsty crooning The Strokes branded back in the early 2000s, Tokyo Police Club’s sound has definitely matured and morphed into something entirely different from their earlier work.
“Hot Tonight,” the second track on the album, features a poppy, upbeat rhythm bound to get your toes tapping. “Miserable” carries on this torch, with a resounding guitar riff that battles with the drums. The album slows down with “Gonna Be Ready,” serving as the dance-rock band’s ballad.
One thing that has always been admirable about Tokyo Police Club was their restraint with synth- they never use too much, unlike some other dance rock bands such as Delorean. There is a proper balance of all instruments, creating nicely melded harmonies as they work together for a unique sound. “Beaches” threatens that balance, but doesn’t push it over the top. It plays with the sound they already have, attempting to stretch it into something new.
Forcefield is a bit similar to Bombay Bicycle Club’s recent release, So Long, See You Tomorrow—another album born after a few year’s hiatus—with its ambitious attempt at mixing pop, dance, and indie all together into a catchy, radio-friendly sound. The album grabs at a heavy, garage-rock bass-and-guitar riff in “Tunnel Vision,” bringing some variety and darkness to their sound. The album closes out with “Through the Wire,” branching out into the dream-pop style similar to Youth Lagoon and Mazzy Star.
Tokyo Police Club are beginning to dip their toes in some new territory, while still maintaining their old sound, which has proven to be somewhat successful with Forcefield. They have plenty of room to grow, though they’re off on the right foot. After taking so long of a break (their last album came out in 2010), it’s hard to say when we’ll hear from them again.
Hopefully, this album means they’ll be staying around for a little while. Right now, they’re touring around the U.K., but you can catch them on their U.S. tour beginning April 16th in Michigan. Sadly, their show at the Sinclair on May 17th is sold out, but keep an eye out for additional dates!