Throughout their 16-year run, music writers and fans have charged Tokyo Police Club with various counts of music labels: indie, punk, power punk, alternative rock and even neo-post-punk revival.
But the band that broke out of Ontario, Canada, in 2005 has likely added to that list with its April 2016 release, the EP Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness: Part One, which is chock-full of melodic verses and hook-filled choruses.
When Tokyo Police Club – which since 2006 has played numerous big-bang festivals such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Bonnaroo and Roskilde – storms the stage of the Social on April 27, vocalist-bassist Dave Monks promises a steady mix of the "old songs as well as the new."
Speaking from Boston, Monks (who, along with drummer Greg Alsop, dropped out of college to become a professional musician) says the band played the Social in 2013 and wanted to get back to what he calls a strong base of fans. The band also has a good friend living here and appreciates our vibrant music scene.
"We just want to hit everywhere we can and get down to Florida and get to our fans there," says Monks, who co-founded the group in 2005 while playing for fun in a basement after the four bandmates had disbanded a previous group, Suburbia. "In Orlando, we get a lot of support."
Monks guarantees that audiences on the current tour will hear a sound that departs from some of the band's previous works, more melding of guitars with synthesizers; the new songs are atmospheric, leaning on layered harmonies and driving rhythms. There are also touches of anthemic rock and even forays into waltz time.
Although the show is built around current work, Monks says that they will also play plenty of deep cuts from the back catalog. "We're doing a good run of the old songs as well as the new. We really try to include older tunes, like 'Listen to the Math,'" he hints, referring to the affecting mid-tempo ballad off their first album, 2008's Elephant Shell.
Tokyo Police Club's Champ (2010) was a more crafted indie album, and in 2014, Forcefield was even more intricate, complete with a three-part, nine-minute opening cut, "Argentina." With hints of Cheap Trick, They Might Be Giants, the Lightning Seeds and Death Cab for Cutie in their sound, Tokyo Police Club intersperses poppy lyrics with their own personal stories and life experiences, and that comes across in their shows, says Monks. It's part of the band's effort to make the audience part of the show, not just aural voyeurs.
"We often hear a lot of people sing to every song when we're on tour. We like to connect with the crowd, and there's a lot of intermingling," he says.
But for 2016 and their current tour, Monks says Tokyo Police Club has worked to make each show different and more crowd-friendly.
At a recent show, he says, the band started their encore from the back of the venue. Monks concludes, "It's a super-accessible show. It's specifically engineered to be fun and enjoyable. I love Orlando and hope to see everyone there."
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