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Tokyo Motor Fist - 2017 Tokyo Motor Fist
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on March 28 2017, In 2017 Articles , 2 Comments , 179 Reads , Print

ARTIST: Tokyo Motor Fist
ALBUM: Tokyo Motor Fist
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2017


LINEUP: Ted Poley - vocals * Steve Brown - guitar, keyboards * Greg Smith - bass * Chuck Burgi - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Pickin' Up The Pieces * 02 Love Me Insane * 03 Shameless * 04 Love * 05 Black And Blue * 06 You're My Revolution * 07 Don't Let Me Go * 08 Put Me To Shame; * 09 Done To Me * 10 Get You Off My Mind * 11 Fallin' Apart


Ted Poley released a fine solo album last year, and Steve Brown and Trixter released a very good album in 2015. These guys have known each other for many many years, so it's no surprise that they'd consider teaming up. They got their pals Greg Smith and Chuck Burgi to join them in the studio, making this a total U.S. affair. Brown wrote all songs - not sure whether they're new or ideas that have been in his head for years (or decades). Not sure where they came up with the name. But by now, it seems all the typical band names have been used, so why not go for something that will definitely stand out?

The Songs
From the opening riff of 'Pickin' Up The Pieces', you get the idea that this will be an album where guitar riffs are a key element of the sound. It's a fine opener, with Poley in fine voice and Brown's guitar setting the stage. The first track released from this album is the fun and catchy 'Love Me Insane', and the second was the equally good 'Shameless'. If you've heard them, you get a good idea of what they're trying to do here. Both are fun songs. Anything with Poley is bound to be compared with his work with Danger Danger, and 'Love' could easily pass for one of their fine slower tracks. It also has a tinge of Hysteria-era Def Leppard. In fact, there is a Def Leppard vibe that permeates many songs (Brown has filled in with them for a few gigs), but not necessarily the same era of Def Leppard. 'Black And Blue' and 'You're My Revolution' keep the party going.

We catch our breath again with 'Don't Let Me Go', a waltz-tempo ballad in 6/8 time that a great change-of-pace tune at this point in the album. It's nice when a band throws in something different, and all the better when it's a really nice song. It makes the impact of 'Put Me To Shame' even stronger. This is more the 'High & Dry' side of Def Leppard, with a guitar riff that someone should have come up with 30 years ago. 'Whoa, oh oh oh, I ain't gonna be your punching bag; Whoa, oh oh oh, a fallen ash from your cigarette drag.' I can't imagine anyone not diggin' this one. It's followed by the impressive 'Done To Me', which would have made a darn good opener had they chosen it for that spot. The third ballad, 'Get You Off My Mind', is another one that has Danger Danger written all over it. The album closes with the fine 'Fallin' Apart', written by Brown after the death of a good friend and sounding more upbeat than the subject matter.

In Summary
Some have mentioned a dissatisfaction with the production of this album. I don't have any issues with it, as it sounds quite good to me. It is mixed a bit loud, and perhaps the instrumentation runs together more than in some albums. I've tried to catch those issues, and I've listened to some 80s songs for comparison purposes (mainly Def Leppard), and I can't hear anything that would cause me to give any warnings. I think that we're at the point, with technology and budget, especially with a label like Frontiers, that they wanted this sound.

If you'd been in a coma since 1989 and just awoke, and this was the first album you'd heard, you'd have no reason to suspect anything had changed since then. This would have been a good album back then, as it is a good one now. I mentioned Def Leppard a few times, but it really sounds quite a bit like Trixter meets Danger Danger, which should surprise no one. They did a great job of capturing the spirit and essence of the late 80's with this collection of songs. Big guitars, catchy songs, lots of melody - there's nothing here not to like.

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#1 | gdazegod on March 28 2017 13:18:32
Tokyo Motor Fist - 2017 Pickin' Up The Pieces
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#2 | gdazegod on April 11 2017 13:49:52
I've gone back and listened to Danger Danger's 2009 album 'Resolve'. There's a lot of similar sounding material on that one, when compared to TMF.
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