“Montreal is the new Seattle,” says Spin magazine — of all the places for a hipster scene to break out. Do the drunk-texting geek-dancers pick up after themselves or what?
And thus concludes the only snark that can be rightly fired at this thing. The trio’s 2008 self-titled debut album was an indie-rock clinic, what you’d expect from Arcade Fire being body-snatched by Gang of Four, screams and whoops fit for David Byrne with his tail lit on fire, lo-fi but not announcing it from the mountaintops. Yes, you should be thinking Tokyo Police Club’s first album, but to the power of what-the-hell-is-this. This is their followup EP, markedly less shouty-screamy than the LP but spastic nonetheless, some Steve Albini-worshipping drone in “Where is the Sun” and some ’80s oi-pop in “Tehching Hsieh.” I don’t want to speak too soon, but this decade of indie-rock may not end up being the hopeless, melody-phobic Armageddon I was expecting. A
—Eric W. Saeger