Connecticut Events

Tokyo Police Club

Thursday

Dec 7, 2017 – 8:00 PM

296 Treadwill St.
Hamden, CT Map

  • Tokyo Police Club

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with Vern Matz
Nothing gold can stay, but radness is forever.So say Tokyo Police Club, who are set to release their first batch of new music since the enterprising and vaulting 2014 LP Forcefield. Now ten years on from their 2006 debut EP, the Toronto four-piece are looking back to the energy and spirit of that formative era while keeping an eye on the future. And with the two-part and self-released Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness EP's being let loose on both ends of 2016, lead singer/bass player and principal songwriter Dave Monks, drummer Greg Alsop, keyboardist/guitarist Graham Wright, and guitarist Josh Hook have harnessed that primal and instinctual joy to make Tokyo Police Club's tightest, brightest, and certainly raddest batch of songs to date.When you start a band as a group of teenage best friends in your small Canadian hometown, it's hard to imagine that a decade later you will not only still be together and making music but also touring the world, playing shows to legions of fans, and putting out a steady stream of acclaimed albums. As the years have worn on, Tokyo Police Club continue to defy the odds, having pushed themselves and their art to the limit. Having completed their grandest statement in the form of their fourth and most time-intensive album to date, the boys took a little time away from each other. Monks moved to New York City and put out a solo record, while Alsop returned west to Los Angeles, Wright bunkered down in Toronto to work on a film, and Hook settled in rural Ontario on a patch of land. Enjoying their time apart to recover, experiment, explore, and evolve as people and not just as a band, the foursome reunited for the lengthy Forcefield tour, and during a brief break in the cycle at the end of 2014 they took what Monks refers to as a "New York vacation" together to record two new songs he had written earlier in the year."We knew we didn't want to work like we did on Forcefield, which was two-and-a-half years solidly writing and rehearsing while holed up in a studio in Toronto," says Alsop. "And we all live in different places now, so that week in New York was our first attempt at experimenting with what happens if we all fly in to be in the same place and decide to work on music together." Says Monks, it was "more just capturing the moment and being ourselves. It was this spontaneous feeling of, 'These songs are rad, let's put them out.'"That pair of songs, "Ocean" and "Please Don't Let Me Down," recaptured the urgency and attitude of their earliest material, all the way back to the A Lesson In Crime EP and 2008's full-length debut Elephant Shell. It inspired the band to find more downtime breaks during which to reconvene and record in brief bursts of creativity and cohesion, and they were super-charged by the efforts. "There was something about the energy when we knew we only had two or three days together at most," says Alsop, "and we had to get a couple songs done each time, just making the most of it, and trusting our gut and each other. What we were creating was exciting us in the moment."During one such break in the winter, the band recorded "PCH" with their old engineer Jon Drew, one of their earliest collaborators, in Canada. The song had been written by Monks months earlier in Los Angeles. "I was at this studio that ran on solar power in the middle of a canyon in Malibu," says Monks. "There was no one around, and I was singing over a drum beat and looking out at this canyon and the water, and these really big melodies came out. And that's the feeling of 'PCH,' like you're singing it into a mountain range. It's got an LA vibe. It was so funny to be recording that song later on in the winter with Jon." They would eventually work on sessions with two more former crew members, Rob Schnapf and Doug Boehm, and the existing rapport made the band feel even more at home. "It was great going back to trusted sources who knew who we were and how we work," says Alsop.That shorthand language and inherent trust only amplified the static energy and the frequency of creative electricity sought by all bands when recording music. But perhaps most of all, it was simply the reality and pace of adult life that most informed and inspired these Tokyo sessions, in a world where their best friends and bandmates weren't necessarily down the hall nor in the bunk next door."We're sort of in a new spot and we're redefining how we work creatively and as a band," says Monks. "And with this EP we're exploring that, and what it's like to be different places and to work together as adults and with a time limit, and how that makes things more exciting, and lighter, or more stressful. It brought a new energy and there was a creative time limit to it; we're more firing it off and trying to capture lightning in a bottle. The band has stayed so flexible and elastic that it keeps going; it's evolved. But if people hear 'Not My Girl' and feel like they were meeting an old friend again-like it was taking them back a decade-that would make me happy."If Tokyo Police Club's past is represented here, then it must be said that their present and future selves are as well. In these songs is the familiar, upbeat charm and wry, earnest likeability that endeared them to fans a decade ago, but with a tighter sense of rhythm, changes, and tempo, as well as an updated subject matter. The bookends of "Not My Girl" and "Please Don't Let Me Down" usher the feverish TPC sound in and out, leaving the listener breathless and, naturally, wanting more. Ever present is the band's good-natured sense of humor, perhaps nowhere more clearly than in the EP's title itself. But it's more than just a pun or an overt nod to a formative album; it's a reminder that Tokyo Police Club's moment-their vitality, their radness-extends far beyond the now.So dawn goes down to day; long live the radness.
$20.00
Tokyo Police Club: Tokyo Police Club started by accident one day in the ordinary suburb of Newmarket when Greg, Josh, Dave, and Graham decided that they missed playing music together, their previous band having broken up several months before. The four gathered in Josh's basement, plugging in instruments and making up songs almost at random, with no goal but to recapture the magic that they felt making music together. By the time summer came, TPC had began quietly to play shows in the Toronto area, shows at which the very few people in attendance seemed impressed by what they saw. The band seemed likely to end here, with the various members preparing to go their separate ways in the fall, when fate intervened in the form of an invitation to play the Pop Montreal festival. Packing their instruments and girlfriends into a tiny university residence room, TPC spent a week immersed in music, spending days lazily wandering the streets of Montreal and nights rehearsing loudly in the tiniest of spaces, and topping it off in style with a sold out show that saw the band play for the first time to an audience that was actually interested. A few weeks later, all four had agreed that it was time to break their mother's hearts and pursue that most elusive of pipe dreams: a career in the music business.

The boys got straight to business, playing a series of Toronto shows, and earning a reputation for live shows that were exuberant, lively, and unrestrained. In January, the very day that Dave returned for good from university, Tokyo Police Club signed up with esteemed Toronto label Paperbag Records to release their debut EP in Canada. In April, A Lesson in Crime was released, and the band has spent the months since on the road, bringing their optimistic brand of wide-eyed post-pop to audiences across Canada and the U.S., and making many new friends along the way.

So what exactly is Tokyo Police Club? Perhaps EYE Weekly summed it up best when they wrote "[Tokyo Police Club] are undeniably catchy and raw, marrying danceable hooks with talk of robot masters and global emergencies, providing an upbeat soundtrack to our troubled times." Personally, however, I prefer Exclaim's proclamation that "somehow, the deeply innocuous subdivisions of Newmarket, Ontario have hatched a four-headed beast of tunefulness."

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