Tourist History (2010) is undeniably a cracking indie debut with its catchy riffs, memorable choruses and happy little electro beats.
Beacon manages to maintain the playful side that the band’s fans are into, whilst attempting to show progression that undoubtedly comes from years on the road. The risqué album art makes this intention clear – nothing says “we’ve grown up” like naked female legs, as everyone knows.
Sleep Alone is the album’s first single and the new track the boys needed: lots of synth and a nice little refrain; this is Two Door Cinema Club doing what they do best. The trio are joined for The World Is Watching by Valentina (you may remember her vocals from Joe Goddard’s Gabriel). The juxtaposition between Trimble’s rhythmic verses and Valentina’s soft choruses makes for a track which stands out among the others.
Opener Next Year is pretty cracking, with a synth break allowing Alex Trimble’s voice to sing out “I don’t know where I am going to rest my head” in flawless a cappella.
The layers build and crescendo as the lyrics provide a glimpse into the less glamorous side of touring; the motif of loneliness resounds through the album, and despite the upbeat instrumentals Trimble’s voice hints at the sad truth behind the words. Poor guys.
Spring is very pretty. All the tracks are actually, but that’s the thing. There is nothing wrong with Beacon, but it hasn’t moved on much from the riffs, choruses and happy little electro beats that did the trick in Tourist History. There is more confidence, the lyrics are a bit darker, and it’s more personal, but ultimately not enough.
Two Door Cinema Club thrive as a live band, but maybe can’t cope with life on the road. The groundwork of something beautiful is there, we just wanted more.