Dig Baton Rouge

Album in Review

By Rebecca Docter

 

Best known for his work in Canadian indie rock band Tokyo Police Club, Dave Monks takes his tunes in a different direction for All Signs Point To Yes.

The six track EP is the first the music world has heard of Monks since Tokyo Police Club’s 2013 indie dance rock album Forcefield. Since the band’s early days, the level of intensity in each album has grown, so to hear Monks return to a more stripped-down style is refreshing and almost nostalgic of Tokyo Police Club’s past.

The EP’s first single “Gasoline” pairs a quiet melody with the comforting, yet pleading words of Monks, consistent with the lyrical genius he’s had in the past. Crooning “I just need someone to rely on” throughout the song, and making use of only a few chords on a piano, a subtle drum beat, and Monks’ guitar, the song is as raw as Monks has ever been. Even the video for “Gasoline” is freshly organic, including only Monks in a suit and his guitar against a white backdrop, clean shaven with a new haircut.

“The Rules,” while still earnest, features a more upbeat sound with a happy melody not dissimilar to past Tokyo Police Club tracks. Though it’s still stripped down, this song has a more produced feel, including short orchestral arrangement toward the end of the song. Like most of Monks’ work, the theme of this song is love, and it’s accomplished in a short time frame, clocking in at just over three minutes.

“Summer Dream” has a more acoustic feel than any other song on the album and recounts, as the name, suggests, a summer dream of finding lasting love on a beach and living a fulfilled life. One of the most positive songs on the EP, the song, is a perfect summer track.

With “Heartbeat Blues” thoughts of Tokyo Police Club’s electronic sound are far away as this song delivers a true soft rock anthem reminiscent of sounds of the mid-2000s. Featuring an electric guitar uncharacteristic of the rest of the EP, “Heartbeat Blues” effectively shows the wide range of sound Monks can bring to the table.  “Vegas” follows a similar tone to “Heartbeat Blues.”

“Miss You” features a monotone Monks singing sentimentally about missing someone far away. While still a solid track, other songs on the EP impress more than this one.

Overall, it’s exciting to think about what this solo venture will do for Tokyo Police Club in the future. It’s clear this album wasn’t just a chance to break away from the band, but an opportunity for Monks to show his incredible aptitude for songwriting in a scaled down way.

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