Not long ago, Paramore led the pop punk invasion, all shouty lyrics, attitude, colourful hair and agreeable sing-along choruses that fused teeny bopper pop and fist-in-the-air rock. It was a genre that burst into life as quick as it (seemingly) ended but huge bands like Paramore and the cult of Hayley Williams have endured nevertheless via a sellable look and sound. However, there’s always room for more and Tokyo Taboo bring that same energetic vibrancy but with a message.
The London duo’s debut album, ‘6th Street Psychosis’ is the band’s statement of intent. Sure, the sound is a little borrowed from the pop punk bands of the last decade, especially on their bratty track ’N.A.R.C.I.S.M’ but their ace in the hole is the politicised anger and frustration behind Dolly Daggerz lyrics.
‘Pussy Power’ begins “just a girl, just a slut”, a comment on how we view women in the public eye. Dolly is brazen, she’s uncompromising and pushes her sexuality and feminism to the forefront of Tokyo Taboo in every sense, giving the band an extra dimension that make them stand out. There are certain tracks on the album that feel a little staid, however – ‘Make It Out Alive’ definitely tries to channel a more Deap Valley-esque feel but falls a little by the wayside.
When the band do epic, catchy choruses and hard hitting riffs, they are undoubtedly, at their best but if they want to remain relevant and thought of, a more angular, honed musical direction that’s not dipping from that mid noughties sound (and look) may be the way to go.
By Stanley Lefèvre