Tokyo Rose - Reinventing A Lost Art (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Tokyo Rose

Reinventing A Lost Art (2003)


At some point at the turn of the century, pop punk decided to start taking itself seriously. This is due to either the seductive sudden gold rush of the burgeoning emo scene or the realization that you can only be a joker for so long. Whatever the motive, where we once saw a legion of silly frat humour we're not seeing more serious songs of love and loss. In many respects Tokyo Rose fits this mould of a post 2000 pop punk band well.

While "Reinventing A Lost Art" doesn't quite live up to it's title, it does include plenty of competent tunes. Particularly on songs like "Don't Look Back" the band shows tantalizing moments of promising songwriting that begin to set them apart from their peers. Be it little vocal inflections or change-ups to traditional pop rock song structure, the band manages to keep their tunes interesting (which is rather key when you're treading on such well traveled ground).

It probably says something about the number of similar acts when I'm tempted to review Tokyo Rose based on what they thankfully don't do. While Ryan Dominguez's vocals aren't too far from his Saves The Day inspired contemporaries, they fall shot of the high-school whine that most other "emotional" rock bands employ. At some of the record's best moments they're actually quite dynamic. The backing vocals also manage to steer clear of unnecessary screaming and complement the lead quite well. Instrumentally there are little hints of post-punk in the guitar play. This helps the band vary their playing enough to keep things sounding fresh and at times quite accomplished. The production here is crisp and brings out the right elements to keep the record from falling flat.

While I'm inclined to write off bands of this genre, Tokyo Rose has charmed their way into my good books. "Reinventing A Lost Art" isn't anything you haven't heard, but it's executed well and sounds great.