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Breaking Artist: Tokyo Police Club

May 28, 2008 12:29 PM ET

Who: Tokyo Police Club, a Toronto quartet who played to audiences at the Coachella, Lollapalooza and Glastonbury festivals before they turned twenty-one or even released their debut album.

Sounds Like: Too poppy to be post-punk but too clean to be garage-rock, TPC marry bright keyboards and the buoyant voice of singer/bassist Dave Monk into perfect danceable two-minute tunes on their debut album Elephant Shell.

Vital Stats:

• After ten years of friendship, TPC decided to start a band after seeing Radiohead live in 2001, even though no one at the time knew how to play any instruments. "I taught myself how to sing," says Monks. "I was tone-deaf until I was 15."

• Between their debut EP A Lesson in Crime and their album Elephant Shell, the band has crammed nineteen songs into only forty-four minutes. "It's just a product of our attention span," says guitarist Josh Hook.

• Instead of hanging out in bars and strip clubs like other bands their age, the band frequents bookstores and art galleries. "The quirky-hipster part of the music industry is really starting to bug me," keyboardist Graham Wright jokes. "But the quirky-hipster part of the book industry is pretty great."

Hear It Now: Elephant Shell is in stores and at digital music services now. Click above to check out the band performing an unplugged version of their song "Graves" exclusively for RollingStone.com.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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