Two Door Cinema Club – Gameshow Review 


A gameshow perfectly sums up Two Door Cinema Club’s relentless career pre-hiatus: a mixture of tension and anxiety in an attempt to find the winning formula that earns them the jackpot. The indie-pop philosophy that spiked Beacon and Tourist History is seemingly a scrapped blueprint, as the Irish trio have swapped clean-cut guitars for nu-disco methodology. Amongst the swirl of synths and fervency of falsettos, TDCC have stepped back into the 80s – a compelling, toe-tapping twist on their previous works, if only it was original.

Despite Gameshow’s time-travelling abilities, modernism surges in certain tracks. In radio-ready lead single and album opener Are We Ready? (Wreck), Trimble unapologetically scratches away at the press – “What will you write about? How did you find that out? You get paid, don’t need any respect.” The band take very real situations and entwine them amongst pop pulsations. With the rise of an all-powerful social network, the pressure to perform alongside damaging comments written about celebrities everyday means these messages have never been more relevant. Bad Decisions also wallows in similar waters – “[I] think I’ve had enough of generation information every station.” The aggravation at the internet kids disguised in club-classic funk appears like a cry for a reversion into the past. The TDCC boys were all born in 1989, so latched onto the end of the pure 80s years (emphasised by closing song’s title Ja Viens De La, which translates as I Come From There). This could suggest the 80s influence in Gameshow is a demand for a revival of youth they experienced away from the snazzy tech.

Instrumentally is where the 80s inspiration comes into its own. In tracks such as Bad Decisions and Fever, Trimble unleashes his inner Barry Gibb, while the punchy bassline of Surgery echoes Bowie circa. Let’s Dance. Invincible’s excruciating lyricism is propped up by a mighty guitar solo that you could definitely hear Freddie Mercury rocking out to. However, this 80s revival isn’t a new fad. Je Viens De La sounds like every Bruno Mars song as of recent, Bad Decisions pinches the electrifying drive of The 1975, and bonus track Sucker – which cuts ties with its eighties-esque neighbours – has an instrumental backing that mirrors the experimental notes of twenty one pilots. It’s an exciting direction for the trio, yet in some ways unambitious; it seems to incorporate contemporary disco efforts that have topped the charts without really adding anything original.

Gone are the days of prospering indie-pop and we return, once again, to an album that shows off the sounds of the eighties. For Two Door Cinema Club, this is potentially an unpredicted direction; one which they’ve executed well, but so have a lot of other people.

Two Door Cinema Club – Gameshow: 7/10

By Eleanor Chivers

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