By Derek Baker, October 25 2016 —
It’s been four years since Northern Ireland band Two Door Cinema Club released their previous album Beacon. With the constant pressure of an intense touring schedule and performances, rumours circulated that band members had a falling out. However, Two Door Cinema Club returned this month with the 10-track LP Gameshow.
Gameshow demonstrates a slight deviation from the band’s sound, but still stays true to their style and composition. With lead singer Alex Trimble’s soothing vocals and lighter sound, the album channels the ‘80s — a trend found in many recent indie and alternative releases.
The album opens with the powerful one-two punch of “Are We Ready (Wreck)” and “Bad Decisions.” The previously-released promotional singles were well-received by fans, quenching the thirst for new material.
The song “Ordinary” most resembles work heard in prior albums Beacon and Tourist History. With prominent bass highlighted by pleasant guitar riffs and Trimble’s familiar vocals, the song is the strongest and my favourite track on the album. The bonus Sam Holiday remix on the deluxe release of the album is also a banger worth playing on repeat.
The title track provides an upbeat groove that is easy to get into. The song channels late ‘80s–early ‘90s alternative rock, featuring a rawer tone to Trimble’s voice. With lyrics like “I’m a Lynchian dream, I’m made of plasticine/I’m old Pinocchio, broken nose, let me go,” the song takes on a surrealist vibe.
Other notable standouts include “Lavender” and “Je Viens de La.” The latter is an upbeat groove featuring Trimble’s powerful falsetto layered over the band’s exciting instrumentation. “So tell me something, show me the world I’m searching for and take me home,” Trimble croons in the yearning track.
Though the album starts out strong — with a similar sound that fans of the band are used to — the latter half fails to continue this momentum. There just seems to be something missing in the closing songs that ends the album on a regretful note, leaving the listener wanting more.
Gameshow is a pleasant album, though it lacks anything spectacular. Fans of the the band will be satisfied with the content, though may be slightly disappointed with the album’s lack of depth, especially after being left in the dark for
years without any mention of the band’s status.