Graham Wright: Shirts Vs Skins

Shirts vs Skins

FU:M Records

Wow, is modern fame ever fleeting. Usually in the opposite direction. After years of slogging, Tokyo Police Club are finally breaking out of the indie ghetto and blam! solo album from the keyboard player.

Which is fine as Graham Wright’s keyboard stylings is a significant contributor to the TPC sound and maybe dude has things to say outside of the format of Tokyo Police Club.

He does and he doesn’t. He’s big on reportage from the teen-sheen relationship angst wars but TPC has covered that turf in the past, so that’s not it. So it’s the music then. Nah, this is high octane power pop of the sort TPC have brought to a refinement, just a shade more ligtweight.Not necessarily a bad thing in this genre and Wright does on occasion dip into more rootsy approaches.

It’s in the lyricism where the wheels fall off  While TPC have dabbled in heartbreak teen rock, the arrangments usually bring something a little different and Dave Monk’s lyrics are worlds apart from Wright’s buzz word dropping and face value observations.
Shirts vs. Skins is a collection of Nineties classic power-pop , with period sense of irony to the fore. The good news is this means hooks and skittery synth passages galore and the catchiness of such as ‘Leftovers’ and “Something Stupid” make this a decent summertime waster and girl-chaser soundtrack. Except for “Canadian Thanksgiving” which veers perilously close to misogony a time or two.

James Lizzard