(NEW YORK, NY) -- Canadian quartet Tokyo Police Club will head out of their twice delayed Champ 10 tour, celebrating the 10th anniversary of their acclaimed and beloved sophomore album, which they will perform in full each night. Champ was issued for the first time on vinyl, along with an expanded digital version this past March - distributed via Mom + Pop (U.S./Mex./Aus.), Dine Alone (Can.) and Memphis Industries (UK/EU). The tour kicks off October 25 in Detroit and includes shows in Philadelphia and New York City.
Long-time music critic and Executive Editor at Talkhouse, Josh Modell, offered his take on this anniversary revisit of Champ…
I wish I had listened longer and more closely to Champ when it first came out, even though I loved it plenty then. It’s revealing and special in ways that aren’t readily apparent, and when you’re a band known for immediacy and energy, that can be either flummoxing or easy to miss. It’s an easy record to really like after a couple of spins - but if that’s where you stop, you’ve missed something.
The layers are there on Champ, and there quite consciously. The band scrapped an entire early version of the record because it didn’t sound as big as they’d hoped it would. They knew they had the stuff to ride a longer wave, to take that youthful energy and shape it for their evolving tastes. There was no reason other than fate or luck that they shouldn’t find themselves on the same path to medium-sized arenas as their sorta-contemporaries like Vampire Weekend or Passion Pit.
It wasn’t to be—not exactly anyway. And now with the resurgence of vinyl repressings we get to face Champ a decade later and maybe a little bit wiser. The way I figure it, you’ve got two choices: You could celebrate your early-adopter status, patting yourself on the back for getting it right the first time around - for peeling back the layers and soaking in their majesty. Or you could let the scales fall from your eyes and recognize Champ as a lost classic of new-millennium indie-pop, hoisting it to the special place in your collection - physically or mentally - that you keep the good stuff.
After all, “Boots of Danger,” the single, is every bit as catchy as the Strokes’ “Last Nite,” though it trades New York cool for youthful Ontario exuberance. And it’s not just the hits that drive Champ: Its bench is deep, from the insistent, twitchily bouncer “Big Difference” to the somber sorta-ballad “Hands Reversed,” which could be a cousin to the best Walkmen songs. And even if you’re one of the smart ones that knows every song by heart and understands every nostalgic turn of phrase and sneaky melody, this new Champ features a song you’ve never heard before: The jaunty “Hundred Dollar Day,” encased in amber for the past decade, appears here for the very first time.
Tokyo Police Club couldn’t help but show how much fun they were having, even as their songs took a more layered turn, both musically and lyrically. With aloofness the order of the day, maybe they were just born at the wrong moment. It doesn’t matter now, of course; what matters is this glowing, glorious batch of songs, eager for your ears for the first time or the thousandth. I’m glad for you either way.
Champ was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith).
Tour Dates [tickets here]:
10/25 – Ferndale, MI @ Loving Touch
10/26 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
10/27 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
10/28 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
10/30 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
11/02 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
11/03 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
11/05 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
11/06 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
11/07 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
11/08 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
11/09 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
11/12 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
11/13 – Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn
11/15 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
11/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
11/18 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
11/19 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
11/20 – Washington DC @ Union Stage