Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
THE eagerly anticipated sophomore album from Irish trio Two Door Cinema Club more than lives up to expectations – it’s a sparkling collection of songs that looks set to catapult them to even greater heights.
Bigger and more inclusive than their debut, and featuring production assistance from Jacknife Lee, it’s an LP that’s high on melody and instantly accessible crowd-pleasers, mixing indie pop with electronic pop to often seamless effect.
The fuller sound is evident from the outset, too, with the addictive electronic loops of Next Year laying the foundation for a kick-ass opener that wastes no time in impressing.
The instrumental opening is thrilling, before the band strip things back to Alex Trimble’s likeable vocals and then building things back up again to rousing effect. But it’s not even one of the absolute highlights!
One of those is the rapturous The World Is Watching, featuring Valentina, that has a certain kind of empowerment about it that’s totally in sync with this year’s glorious summer of sporting achievement.
It’s also a summer track of immense euphoria, propelled by some insistent yet impossibly bright electronic melodies and a cracking boy-girl duet over the chorus.
There’s a charming simplicity to Settle, too, that underlines the band’s ear for the theatrical, or the Coldplay-esque. The guitar hooks on this one are particularly enchanting, while Trimble’s appealing vocals offer a sublime focal point. And once the track explodes into life, it truly excites.
Title track Beacon is also a favourite too, not only for the way in which it slows down the tempo to satisfying effect, but for the way in which it successfully blends an old-school indie pop vibe with something more Passion Pit or MGMT orientated (complete with vaguely ethereal vocals).
Elsewhere, the intricacy of the band’s instrumentals is to be found in the weaving electronics of Pyramid and the layered instrumentals of Wake Up, which continually evolve.
There’s a Bloc Party like urgency to some of the new songs, like Sleep Alone and Someday, but the album is at its best when letting things slowly evolve without hitting the ground running.
Sun, for instance, begins really stripped back and organ-based, before then tossing in a really insistent electro-guitar riff that keeps making an appearance throughout, as well as the odd stab of brass. It’s another highlight and another of the tracks that seems perfectly suited to filling the stadiums this band is surely now bound for.
Fans of the Irish lads’ first album are sure to love this bigger, more ambitious follow-up even more, while newcomers are almost certain to be hailing Two Door Cinema Club as their new favourite band.
Beacon has the feel of an album that’s about to do great things for this particular act… and deservedly so.
Download picks: Beacon, Settle, The World Is Watching, Sun, Next Year