Elephant Shell

Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Filter
    86
    Elephant Shell is like a summertime record, easy and stress-free. [Spring 2008, p.92]
  2. The songs on Elephant Shell are a sensible progression from the Strokes-like hooks of earlier material, showing an increasing sophistication. As with before, the brilliance is in the brevity.
  3. Tokyo Police Club's reliance on sounds and forms, namely the borderline hackneyed tropes of the 21st century's neat-freak take on post-punk, that can all be found elsewhere. Bands rarely combine ingredients this stale into something this fresh.
  4. It manages to stay true to the band's short-form indie excitement whilst also revealing further virtues well into repeat spins.
  5. Though its follow-up full-length, Elephant Shell, doesn't disappoint, neither does it surprise too much.
  6. As it stands, it's a really good album by a band that should've made--and still might make--a really, really great one.
  7. Entertainment Weekly
    75
    When they do hit their stride, it's on several urgent guitar-and-synth anthems, which makes you wonder why these guys didn't just weed out the riffraff and release another killer EP. [9 May 2008, p.63]
  8. 70
    Making good on the promise of two nervously explosive EPs, Tokyo Police Club indulge in plenty of echoey atmospherics but also add Foo Fighters-esque blasts of guitar, as if leaping into action and kicking over their chairs. [May 2008, p.79]
  9. This album may be svelte, but it’s far from slight.
  10. There are moments here worth savoring-- the wickedly resourceful arrangement of 'Graves,' for starters--but not a lot that sticks.
  11. So even though these tunes remain brief and concise (only one song, 'Your English Is Good,' tops the three-minute mark), they're also varied, which makes Tokyo Police Club's official debut seem less like the work of hyper-caffeinated teens and more like the promise of a smart, evolving band.
  12. I can't say with conviction that Elephant Shell will stand the test of time--it could be forgotten within a year--but such is the peril of retreading well-worn musical ground. The album should, however, stay fresh for the summer.
  13. After nailing the rapid-fire EP format with tracks that constantly threatened to disintegrate themselves from the inside-out, TPC psyche themselves out on their first full-length, over-cooking songs made from otherwise spectacular ingredients.
  14. TPC are better arrangers than songwriters; all eleven tracks burst with hooks, but only the single 'Your English Is Good' feels fully cooked.
  15. Tokyo Police Club indubitably share similarities with their more commercially successful UK counterparts, Bloc Party.
  16. Uncut
    60
    No shocks here, but a laudably short and sharp effort. [June 2008, p.94]
  17. Q Magazine
    60
    It's all over long before the lack of variety can become a problem. [June 2008, p.148]
  18. Transcendent tracks like 'Your English is Good' and 'In a Cave' indicate that there’s still room to grow on subsequent Tokyo Police Club releases. But for now, the band seems to have lost its mojo.
  19. Under The Radar
    50
    Elephant Shell is very appealing in a middle-of-the-road way, but for those hoping to be electrified, we'll have to wait on another arse. [Spring 2008, p.81]
  20. They don’t do nearly enough with the brief window of opportunity they have afforded themselves, and seem too fashionably pent-up to take that key leap of faith beyond the terra firma of their dominant influences in the foreseeable future.
  21. TPC keep their songs taut and mostly under three minutes, so Elephant Shell whips by in a charging whirl of indie rock urgency but skips on substance.
  22. Elephant Shell finds the ambiguity created by this choice absolutely harrowing, however, and proceeds to run back to that basement with its eyes closed, one hand over its mouth and the other clutching its Bloc Party tapes.
  23. Elephant Shell has it all if you’re looking for youthful mistakes from a well-meaning (but again, young) band that really, really, REALLY shouldn’t let the hype go to their heads.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. EdgarM
    Mar 29, 2009
    10
    This is probably my choice for the most underrated album of 08. This had some insanely catchy songs (Juno, In a Cave, IMO). I'm shocked This is probably my choice for the most underrated album of 08. This had some insanely catchy songs (Juno, In a Cave, IMO). I'm shocked this didn't make many people's Top 10 because it's such well-made and satisfying little gem. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for true indie-rock album. Full Review »
  2. Shay
    Dec 15, 2008
    10
    This is pure awesomeness!
  3. JC
    Dec 15, 2008
    10
    Exciting and thrilling from beginning to end.