Two Door Cinema Club redefines ‘indie pop’.....again

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 at 6:20 PM
Two Door Cinema Club redefines ‘indie pop’.....again by Roman Sabella

Change is inevitable and it’s inevitable that some may not like that change as much as others. But to stay relevant in the world of music, bands have to take risks.

Some may remember Two Door Cinema Club for their hugely successful first album, “Tourist History,” which painted a canvas with wide brush strokes of upbeat rhythm guitar, memorable lead riffs and bass that you couldn’t help but drool over.

The Irish indie pop band set out to define the genre back in 2010 and now set out to do it again, practically abandoning their old sound in its entirety. “Gameshow” comes directly on the heels of a year-long hiatus, from 2014-2015, which was sparked by grueling tour schedules and an apathy for the material they produced for their 2012 sophomore album, “Beacon.”

Long gone are the breakneck electronic drums that pulsed through their previous two records, and instead, we are greeted with many more slowed down, almost brooding tracks that are reminiscent of the sounds of ‘70s disco and ‘80s synth pop. This album is not what “Tourist History” or “Beacon” were, but it is still distinctly Two Door Cinema Club in every sense, and that is the best thing.

For this review I decided to go all in and purchase the deluxe edition of the album, which includes two bonus songs, a couple remixes and live rendition of the title track performed at Bonnaroo. In my opinion, it was the best decision, because some of their best tracks were the two bonus songs. “Gasoline,” including a crunchy bass riff and haunting choral singing, is accompanied by “Sucker,” which delivers the tale of the band’s 2014 hiatus with an organ section that sounds baroque and evocative.

The closest tracks to the previous albums are the opener, “Are You Ready? (Wreck),” and the title track, which shines light on their old song structures of unstoppable time signatures, memorable guitar riffs and Kevin’s undeniable prowess at making bass riffs sing to the heavens and beyond.

These two tracks, being the first and final singles released to advertise the album, will likely resonate with both new fans and those who are trapped in the past and craving more of the same. A quick look at the band’s fan pages, though, will show the latter make up the minority.

This is a pop album, there is no denying that, but it’s a pop album in the same way that David Bowie and Prince are pop artists. “Gameshow” is avant-garde in essence and attempts to avoid modern pop fallacies, while still maintaining the genre of pop at its core. Put it up against most radio-friendly pop and you’ll notice the glaring differences in its building song structures and existential lyrics, which concern topics like materialism, technology overload and consumerism.

While not all fans may be satisfied, the band certainly didn’t play it safe for this record. Those who respect this creative process will find the album well worth a listen.

The album is available on iTunes and Spotify. Note: the copy reviewed for this article was the deluxe edition.

Two Door Cinema Club is currently on tour promoting the new album in the U.S.

Standout Tracks: “Ordinary,” “Gameshow,” and “Sucker.” 

Roman Sabella is a staff writer for The Spectator. 

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