Two Door Cinema Club - Gameshow
After a four year hiatus, A seemingly lost and confused Two Door Cinema Club looked back to the eighties to find inspiration for their comeback album ‘Gameshow’
Back in 2014 Two Door Cinema Club were Indie kings, their second album ‘Beacon’ had been a big success launching an sold out tour alongside a massive date at the O2 Arena. They were on course to become future festival headliners and that summer it was all about to become a reality with a prime headline slot at Latitude Festival, however impromptu ulcers in frontman Alex Trimble’s stomach forced a last minute cancellation. This unfortunately saw the band disappear off the face of the earth, we’d only later find out that behind close doors all was not well between the band, with tempers frayed and friendships close to breaking point It seemingly looked like the band may never return.
Fast forward to 2016 and a much needed break had seen the band return with a new energy about them, the demand for Two Door Cinema Club has remained, however they now find themselves below their peers such as Bastille, The 1975 and Foals, who in the band’s absence have all been finding themselves soaring upwards towards increasingly bigger festival slots. A big third album from the boys would change all that you’d think surely! however theres another twist in the tale…. they’ve now gone disco.
Third album ‘Gameshow’ Is a sharp departure from their previous releases,It’s at points slower paced, It’s a lot groovier and the end result is a record you’d be easily mistaken for believing that the Bee Gee’s had made It.
First song and lead single ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’ sounds the most like songs released from their first two album’s, however It’s still instantly apparent it’s a completely different style of Two Door Cinema Club than the one we are used to listening to, the opening choir of children chanting “la la la la la la” provide that instant singalong you come to expect from the band, but as soon as Alex’s voice hit’s in the track you begin to notice that it’s suddenly sounding a lot higher than what you were familiar with. It’s easily one of the strongest songs on the album, containing the classic Two Door formula of catchy guitar riffs you can sing and even catchier choruses that made them so popular in the first place.
‘Bad Decisions’ follows next and continues the album’s strong start, It’s infectious and the moment that you hear that opening riff you just know that it’s going to be stuck in your head all day, I challenge you not to burst into instant air guitar the second it comes on, the lyrics on the track are surprisingly profound, it finds Alex singing of turning against the normal, switching off technology and his desire to stop making bad decisions in his life.
Third track ‘Ordinary’ continues with the themes of trying to hide from fame, it’s a catchy and silky, number, whilst yet again it finds the instruments shining with even more infectious guitar riffs and a solid drum beat which all feature alongside Alex’s now seemingly permanent high pitched Bee Gee-like singing, all three opening tracks seem so familiar yet so different, It’s the Two Door you know but as if they were manufactured in the eighties.
Title track ‘Gameshow’ loses the infectious rhythms and harmonies in favour of hard, loud beats which see’s Alex now borderline shouting over the chorus, It’s surprisingly heavy and end’s up feeling overproduced with too many sounds being all thrown at you at once, it even has Alex screaming at one point.
‘Lavender’ see’s more thumping beats, this time however it feels like their being used correctly being placed alongside a distorted guitar line, the result sounding almost futuristic. following tracks “Fever” and “Invincible” both feel like filler tracks due to a lack of a killer instrumental or stand out chorus between the pair of them.
“Good Morning” see’s the band return to what made the album sound so good in it’s opening moment’s, a solid track mixing a very danceable beat, a catchy rhythm with it’s verses building up to the soaring chorus of “Why did I let it go?”. Never has a song about indecisiveness sounded so good. the following track “Surgery” falls into that disappointing filler category however.
The same can’t be said about closing track “Je Viens De La” though (which translates to “That’s where I’m from” if you were wondering) It feel’s like a combination of all the album’s best moment’s and then turning the dial on them up to 11!, The guitars are at their most frantic, the disco element’s with their groovy beats are at their most funkiest and Alex’s voice find’s itself at it’s highest pitch all resulting in the album ending on a magnificent high point.
Overall it’s a mixed bag from the boy’s from Bangor, I was at the Tufnell launch gig for Gameshow and it was clear to see just how wild of an audience the band still command, songs like “Are We Ready”, “Gameshow” and “Bad Decisions” all seem like instant live favourites so there’s no worries there, It’ll be interesting to see what direction the band now go in and just exactly where the renewed demand will take them, their strong live shows should see them return to headliner status especially if their upcoming sold out tour is anything to go by.
How well their new sound has gone down will be clear to see when the album charts go up this week (up against Kings Of Leon’s latest so a solid second would still be a success), on Gameshow however one thing is clear, Two Door Cinema Club have shown their not just a one trick Indie band If that’s for better or worse, Well…… I’lll leave that for you to decide.