Saddle Creek bands certainly have their bookish tendencies, but they often skew toward Bukowski or DeLillo — the sort of dog-eared volumes you find in the hands of lonely barflies who simultaneously want to stoke your curiosity only to tell you to leave them alone. Tokyo Police Club got literary with it on their only Saddle Creek release, but in a far more approachable way, filtering the wordpower of The Decemberists through the kind of scrappy and hooky post-Strokes songcraft that came to define “blog rock” during the mid-’00s. Thanks to the radio-ready production of Chris Zane, Elephant Shell is almost certainly the slickest record to be released on the label, the sort of thing you imagine they won after an indie bidding war. “In A Cave,” “Tessellate” and “Your English Is Good” were particular spoils, but really all of them would suffice as evidence that Tokyo Police Club remain one of indie rock’s more underrated bands.
By Kirstie Shanley on 09.15.14 in Live in Pictures
Photos of Riot Fest Chicago: Wu-Tang Clan, Patti Smith, Slayer and more
By Ian Cohen on 07.19.12 in Collections
As the new millennium dawned, Omaha spawned an unusual amount of wildly talented, photogenic and outspoken artists. And while nearly all of these talents found a home on Saddle Creek, a label cofounded by Nebraska-Omaha...
By Ian Cohen on 11.26.14 in Features
The band's 2003 album serves as a Grand Theft Auto-like world where you can let your worst impulses run wild before returning to everyday existence.
By Stephen M. Deusner on 04.16.13 in Reviews
On, 2010's Personal Life, Portland trio the Thermals jettisoned the political angst that motivated their early material in favor of a more autobiographical subject matter. Frontman Hutch Harris sang about matters of the...