Tokyo Police Club, Elephant Shell

Ian Cohen

By Ian Cohen

on 07.11.11 in Reviews
Saddle Creek’s slickest

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.