If anyone was unfortunate enough to miss Two Door Cinema Clubâ€™s performance at Reading Festival on Sunday night, I very much recommend you catch the highlights on the BBC website before they disappear. It was truly sensational with front man Alex Trimble describing it on his Twitter page as â€œWithout a doubt the best show I’ve played in my lifeâ€. This performance comes just a week before the bands second studio album “Beacon” is released and after delivering such a scintillating performance, it is certain that the band will have no difficulty in selling the album. But what can you expect from the Northern Irish three piece second time around? Letâ€™s find out.
The first sound of Beacon comes from a track entitled “Next Year” which gives an early indication as to what to expect from the rest of the album – electronic beats and catchy riffs. The sound is bigger and more complex than what is offered in the “Tourist History” but most importantly, the quality is in no way compromised. Although it is probably a step to far to describe the track as pessimistic, it is undoubtedly a shift away from the eternal optimism of the first album. “Next Year” is not alone in this shift as tracks “Sleep Alone“, “Someday” and “Wake Up” follow along similar lines. In many ways, “Beacon” is a more mature album than “Tourist History” which is perhaps natural, due to the bands new found fame. The album seems to lament the difficulties of being away from home for such extended periods and the hardship that comes with adjusting to fame. This is by no means a negative and although the songs are generally slower paced than in “Tourist History“, the riffs are still insatiably catchy and have much to offer.
The unique vocals provided by Trimble are still a perfect compliment to the sound of Two Door Cinema Club, and despite the shift in pace, they are most impressive alongside the female vocals featured in “The World Is Watching“. “The World Is Watching” is a prime example of the progression shown by the band with a far more complex arrangement of instruments which provides something not offered on “Tourist History” or even on the rest of “Beacon“. Although I generally like to stay away from comparisons between other bands the sound in “The World Is Watching” is reminiscent of Delphic in its composition. The electronic beat and crescendo of the song are very well put together which makes for a satisfying song whilst providing a diversity that the album as a whole fails to deliver. Indeed, it is reasonable to say that although the change in tempo is a sign of progression and desire not to become stagnant, it is important not to forget your roots. In this respect, lead single “Sleep Alone“, “Someday” and to a lesser extent “Spring” offer some redemption in this form but not enough to quench the thirst. “Sun” keeps Beacon burning bright and it would be no surprise to see it as a single in the future.
Overall, Two Door Cinema Club have passed the â€˜difficult second albumâ€™ challenge with flying colours and will not disappear into obscurity. The band have built upon the foundations from “Tourist History” to make a far more accomplished and fulfilling second album. This is in part benefitted by a run time that is a full seven minutes longer than the first despite only containing one more track. If youâ€™re looking for a catchy indie pop album then “Beacon” will satisfy this craving whilst also catering for those who are seeking something more. If you canâ€™t wait until the release on September 3rd you can stream the album in full from the their website. Enjoy.
Stand-Out Track: “Sun”