Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/4
Two Door Cinema Club
Written by: TL on 18/12/2016 14:21:25
Irish indie pop/dance-rock trio Two Door Cinema Club arrived at their third album this year, following a longer break after 2010's promising debut "Tourist History" and 2012's intrepid follow-up "Beacon". It's been time well spent you realise, both when listening to the new record on its own, but also when comparing to the previous records, because "Gameshow" sounds like more of a confident power move, less like a slightly over-eager attempt at impressing someone.
The group's music has always been infectious and danceable above anything, and those qualities are refined on this ten track disc that - while the band is mainly in league with other funky indie bands like Bombay Bicycle Club, Walk The Moon or The 1975 - also has recurring components that sound like they've been listening to things like Prince, Bee Gees and Daft Punk. Groovy bass patterns provide foundations, cool as a panther strolling through the jungle, while keys and cheekily measured guitar strokes chirp at each other, accentuating the beats and setting up around Alex Trimble's light, laid-back singing style.
Like a good pop record, "Gameshow" puts its best foot forward immediately, opening with a strong sequence of "Are We Ready? (Wreck)", "Bad Decisions" and "Ordinary". The first brings back memories of the band's debut material in the way its tempo is so eager to break into a run, eventually dragging the instruments and vocals into a swirl that sucks the listener in. "Bad Decisions" goes for a slower, bouncy step, and for guitars chiming in something that sounds suited for a dance montage in and indie rom-com (cue mental images of Joseph Gordon-Levitt) while "Ordinary" has bass lines for the ages and a seductive disco atmosphere that makes you wonder if there's a Saturday Night Fever reimagining coming out with this as its soundtrack.
The record overall has great production and is full of playful little details of composition, of the sort that makes you wonder why you don't dance more. There are changes of pace in tracks like the more hard-edged, rock-ish "Gameshow" and in the balladic "Invincible", while something about the opening bloom and synth/guitar exchange of "Fever" feels a bit like a respectful nod to Bowie-classic "Let's Dance". That being said, though, the mid-to-late section of the album is a bit more up and down in how completely you're engaged as a listener, supposedly because 2DCC don't throw the tricks they've come up with around too far. Songs like "Lavender", "Good Morning" and "Surgery" operate on the same premises as the rest of the record but don't really bring it home quite as convincingly.
This makes it cooler that the album surges to a highlight for a closer with "Je Viens De La", where the synth-accentuated beat is sure to put a bounce in your step, although you might as well give up on nailing the notes in the Bee Gee's-ish falsetto chorus. Altogether, "Gameshow" is a rather convincing little 'comeback' then, and a welcome reminder of how good Two Door Cinema Club can be at making infectious music that makes you want to move.
Download: Ordinary, Bad Decisions, Are We Ready? (Wreck), Je Viens De La
For The Fans Of: Bombay Bicycle Club, Walk The Moon, The 1975
Release date 14.10.2016