The first time I heard about Tokyo Police Club I stopped everything I was doing and searched for any/every MP3 I could find online. A blog I was reading had a sample of their song "Nature Of The Experiment," and I was instantly smitten. The band takes all the good parts of being young creative hipsters and spins it into punky pop songs less than three minutes in length. The band has yet to release a proper album (though when it's finished it will come out on Saddle Creek Records), but they're sure getting good at releasing singles and EP's.

The Smith EP picks up where their previous EP, A Lesson In Crime, left off. It keeps the songs punky, short and sweet, but cleans up the sound quality and buffs it to a fancier sheen.

"Box" kicks things off with a distant hum... as lead singer Dave Monks is heard approaching the microphone in the studio. Seemingly, they are tipping their collective hat to their former; rough cut, more DIY formula and transitioning into the more polished/professional world of audio recording. It's good to know they aren't abandoning their roots altogether.

At around two minutes, "Box" is your typical Tokyo Police Club song. Fast, clever and catchy lyrics along with quick beats written from a charming young man's self-aware point-of-view. While it does have a deeper bass riff than ever heard on previous songs, there is nothing out of step about it.

"Cut Cut Paste" gets updated from their previous release and you can really hear the difference. The professional-band quality comes in clear. No longer do these boys need the lo-fi sounds when they've got an actual studio and a producer this time around.

These four Canadian boys keep stirring up the scene and have created quite a name for themselves - all while never releasing a proper LP. Seems they like to keep their audience waiting with baited breath. If they keep sending out tastes like this, I'm sure they will be able to keep a lot of people at bay, salivating while awaiting the arrival of an album. I'll be one of those wearing the saliva-soaked shoes eagerly anticipating the day they release a proper full-length.

"Box" MP3

Tokyo Police Club
Paper Bag Records