An exciting new turn for the Irish trio, filled with feel-good indie dance tunes
Since debuting Tourist History in 2010 and going on to play every corner of the planet, Two Door Cinema Club has helped shape a euphoria and niche calling for alternative indie bands. In addition, the risks taken with Beacon, its follow-up two years later, were justified when it reached number two in the UK charts and secured their identity as significant artists of the day. Therefore, with third albums generally considered the easiest to make – the first determines success in the industry before the second rules out luck as the success factor, securing anticipation and a fanbase for future releases – Gameshow promised a free rein to incorporate diverse interests and influences and the trio does not disappoint, referencing disco, funk, indie rock, and pop.
Following revelations that the band would return to the scene after a hiatus, an exciting buzz surrounded what they had described as an “evolved sound.” Yet, the slightly disappointing release of ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’ in June misled me into assuming that the band had not grown from the sound of the Tourist History era. When used as Gameshow‘s introduction, on the other hand, it eases the listener in with a dramatic riff and catchy chorus.
Throughout the record, it seems that the band has matured their sound and found a harmonious tie to their previous works. The introduction to the title track, for example, throws homage to Beacon‘s use of melody whilst maintaining the indie rock components that first got them recognised. Further development is evident by exposing the vocal capabilities of singer Alex Trimble, who experiments with his range throughout the album. On ‘Bad Decisions’ and ‘Je Viens De La,’ the more disco-aided tracks, he manipulates his general tone for a softer falsetto touch, in turn making him a more commanding frontman.
On first listen, Gameshow can only be minimally criticised – the one stand-out factor is the use of Auto-Tune in ‘Surgery,’ beginning with an enticing electronic beat that leads to the unnecessarily enhanced hook. Disregarding this, the song is extremely catchy, drawing unintentional head bops along to the easygoing beat. Nevertheless, the first listen shouldn’t determine your opinion because some of the more relaxed tracks go under the radar in comparison to dance-provoking songs. ‘Invincible,’ for example, shows the band’s simplicity with a slight backing track, especially in the introduction, showcasing the power of Trimble’s vocals alone until the beat kicks in to allow appreciation of the entire band. Perseverance is definitely encouraged, as this is unquestionably an album that grows on you, the more you listen to it.
As alternative and indie music evolves, so too do the demands and standards of listeners. Fortunately with Gameshow, Two Door Cinema Club yet again showcases headline worthiness. Certainly a good investment whether you sing along to it whilst stuck in M3 rush hour traffic or at a concert in a packed crowd of like-minded fans – their tour next spring has already sold out – it has me already looking forward to album four.
Gameshow is out now via Parlophone