Tokyo Police Club, "Forcefield"
Tokyo Police Club, "Forcefield" (Courtesy Photo)
Well, this is fun. Tokyo Police Club made everyone wait four years for a new record, and they didn't come back with some toiled-over opus. Forcefield is just fun indie rock.

"We saw [trends] come and disappear or change into something broader. It left us wanting to make something that would last. We ended up rediscovering energy and guitars and simple, direct songs," singer and bassist David Monks said in a press release. So maybe the multi-year gap does make more sense. They definitely deliver the rock riffs and the simplicity. Obviously, that comes with varying results.

There's the borderline-'80s fun of “Hot Tonight” (even in that title) or the '90s pop rock gem “Toy Guns.” On the other hand, “Gonna Be Ready” feels aimless. “Feel the Effect” could easily get bogged down in its mantra-like repetition, but it's saved by bursts of energy. Basically, Forcefield is at its best when it's playful and unapologetically poppy.

The closest Tokyo Police Club comes to ditching the directness is in the album opener, "Argentina (Pts. I, II, III)." It's a trilogy of direct songs that consumes a good portion of Forcefield, and it's the best thing on the record. Maybe it just couldn't be replicated across the entire record, but you kinda wish it was.

Fun isn't always brilliant or well thought out, but that doesn't often stop anyone from having a good time.

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Forcefield, for its song structures and shiny production, comes pretty damn close to pop, anyway. Just enjoy.