Tokyo Police Club (TPC) is one of may favorite bands from Canada. Hailing from Newmarket (Greater Toronto), their most recent release is a fascinating collection of ten cover tunes representing the decade of 2001- 2010. These ten songs were recorded in a span of just ten days, hence the album title of 10x10x10. TPC couldn’t have chosen a wider range of original song performers if they had done it blindfolded with darts – Miley Cyrus (yes, you read that correctly) to Queens of the Stone Age.
Often, I am not excited about cover tunes – probably because I think it is hard to really improve on the original. That is not always the case though. In my opinion the guitar laden version if “Don’t Be Cruel” by Cheap Trick is far better than the Elvis original. More recently, Rivers Cuomo’s (of Weezer) performance of “Viva La Vida” outdoes the original by Coldplay.
In this case, Tokyo Police Club not only covers these ten songs, they freaking reupholster them and turn each into TPC songs. They are fabulous – from David Monks’ stellar vocals, to Josh Hook’s guitar riffs, to Graham Wright’s keyboards, to Greg Alsop’s drumbeats. I enjoyed listening to all ten tracks and the digital booklet that came along on iTunes is a nice enhancement. My favorite tracks on 10x10x10 are:
- “All My Friends” – The background guitar riff starting at 0:58 is simply amazing.
- “Kim & Jessie” – Powerful and fun. A serious head-banger – almost my first choice.
- “Strictly Game” – “Make a little money, take a lot of shit, feel real bad, and get over it.”
- “South Side” – A modern day West Side Story themed song with wicked guitar riffs.
- “Sweetness” – Another set of wicked TPC’esque guitar riffs.
- “Since U Been Gone” – So much better than the original by Kelly Clarkson.
- “Long Distance Call”
10x10x10 is a fascinating concept for a mid-release album and I applaud Tokyo Police Club for taking a huge gamble. I certainly prefer it to remixes. I know one thing for sure, I can’t wait to hear many of these tracks, along with TPC originals, this summer when they are performing in Detroit. Kudos gentlemen on a job very well done.