Be it a band from Brooklyn, by way of Washington DC, to make waves with their music on both MTV and Animal Planet. Power-poppers Hello Tokyo has done just that, in addition to receiving love from Stomp magazine, NBC, the Austinist, Free Indie and, now, PopWreck(oning), among many others. The trio’s newest album, a self-release entitled Sell The Stars, is sure to turn those waves into tsunamis. Fronted by the beautiful and vivacious Kat with John on guitar and bass and Sam on drums, Hello Tokyo brings the rock, the pop and the dance all in a catchy little package.
Sell The Stars begins slow with Kat’s sweet vocals before picking up into driving riffs. On the same track, Kat sheds the sweet for loud and powerful over John’s funky riffs and Sam’s pounding beats. First track “Alert the Authority” also features a great effect of layering Kat’s lead vocals over her own backing vocals. Track 2 is the disc’s title track and is super bouncy and chock full of catchy guitar hooks with a great driving tempo that gets you moving. The lyrical content isn’t as happy as the music behind it would insist, “Tell me you love me / After you hurt me / You took what you wanted / I’m still wondering why you got it.”
Echoing vocal effects, funky guitar riffs, driving beats and catchy synth parts are Sell The Star‘s M.O. The hook heavy “Steady the Gun” immediately incites a dance party while “Hands to Hold” slows things down as Kat sings with marbles in her mouth in a song rather reminiscent of No Doubt‘s “The Climb.” The band delves into a more adult side on the darkly sweet and ambient “The Affair,” an almost narrative about an affair gone wrong: “You’ve become the air I breathe / How did you know what I was thinking? / I never wanted to fall in love with you.”
Further proving Hello Tokyo’s No Doubt influence is “Midnight Snack,” a much poppier song than “Hands to Hold,” though it features a haunting drum beat that would fit in perfectly on a Denali album. The album ends with “I Spy,” in which Kat channels Gwen Stefani circa Tragic Kingdom over top a funky guitar riff in a song about a one night stand to alleviate loneliness: “Far from home / Far from anyone that loves me / Assuming I have no one / Not even anyone above me. / Tell me, do you think you want me? / Just for the day, / Until we feel empty? / Filthy / Empty / Then you can go.” It’s less sexy and dirty than it is haunting and sad, with an almost self-destructive vibe.
If you’re into female-fronted, driving, melodic pop rock, look no further than Hello Tokyo’s Sell The Stars. Bringing back mid-90s No Doubt, but giving it their own unique and refreshing spin, Hello Tokyo is sure to please. You can check the band out on tour (dates below), promoting their new album, which hits April 22nd.
Tracklisting: Alert The Authority, Sell The Stars, Intimidate Me, Steady The Gun, Hands to Hold, The Affair, Midnight Snack, Run To You, Your Majesty, We Are Running, I Spy
Apr 25 – The Fire/Philadelphia, Pa. (CD Release show!)
Apr 26 – Rock & Roll Hotel/Washington Dc. (All Ages!)
Apr 27 – GW University Radio/Washington Dc.
Apr 28 – Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar/Charlottesville, Va.
Apr 29 – The Raven/Burlington, Nc.
Apr 30 – New Brookland Tavern/West Columbia, Sc.
May 01 – Smith’s Olde Bar/Atlanta, Ga.
May 03 – Indy500 Festival/Indianapolis, In. (SOLD OUT!)
May 04 – Dirty Jack’s/Cincinnati, Oh.
May 06 – 123 Pleasant Street/Morgantown, Wv.
May 07 – Club Café/Pittsburgh, Pa.
May 08 - Brother Bean Coffee House/Seneca, Pa.
May 12 – Oasis/New London, Ct. (w/ The Gypsy West)
May 16 – Dr. Watson’s Pub/Philadelphia, Pa. (w/ Life Slides Down)
May 28 – Stranded In Stereo Presents../New York, Ny.
Jun 14 – Memories Lounge/Richland, Nj.
Hello Tokyo: website | myspace
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