Two Door Cinema Club avoid sophomore slump with Beacon
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 00:09
Ireland is a beautiful place. Even more so now that I know that Two Door Cinema Club hails from Northern Ireland. God Bless the Irish.
With Two Door Cinema Club’s second full-length Beacon, released Tuesday, produced by the acclaimed Jackknife Lee (The Cars, U2, Weezer, Bloc Party), they don’t fall into the dreaded “sophomore slump.” They keep going right where they left off.
After April 2010’s Tourist History, which went gold in the UK, it might have been expected that TDCC’s next album would be a poppy, sort of “sell-out” of an album. Haters, keep waiting. Beacon is not that.
The album starts with “Next Year,” which opens with a wave of electronics, followed by drums. Then suddenly everything cuts out and lead singer Alex Trimble is heard for the first time. “I don’t know where I’m going to rest my head tonight /So I won’t promise I won’t speak to you today,” he sings as the song carries on, eventually ending with piano and bass drum.
The album continues with “Handshake,” which has an electric-sounding intro, but also has some smooth bass lines and dance-y drum beats. “Wake Up” follows with strong bass in the intro as well as vocals, breaking the mold of the first two tracks. Heavy synth and effects come out toward the end, sounding like a spacey, a la “Undercover Martyn” on Tourist History.
“Sun” starts with piano and Trimble’s vocals, then gets into a groove with bass line, slides and funky guitar, with horns coming in around 1:50. “Someday” has the danciest intro yet, with more wailing guitar, grooving bass and snare and high hat that you can’t but nod your head to.
“Sleep Alone,” the first single off Beacon, begins with bass and high-hat combo in the intro, and is one of best tracks on the release. The song finishes with a powerful, full sounding outro, with vocals much like on Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up,” that haunting song used in the Where The Wild Things Are trailer.
“The World is Watching Us,” featuring Valentina, has a great intro, sounding much like Vampire Weekend. “I want you with me,” Valentina repeats through the chorus. At 2:30, there is an awesome keys part that makes for a great sound with a combination of stringed orchestral instruments and Valentina swoons back in with “I want you with me.”
“Settle” might be the second best track, with a beautiful sounding intro that builds up with distorted guitar. Trimble sings “When I get home, when I get home / I wanna feel less alone,” that seems to speak of sadness. “Spring” starts palm-muted funky guitar riffs. “If I follow you then I will need you closer / One more day is not enough,” Trimble begs, a continuation of this motif of loneliness on Beacon.
“Pyramid” has a spacy intro, which sounds like it could be Silversun Pickups’s album Carnavas, progresses into a rocking chorus, with tasty bass. “Beacon,” the title track, begins with electric drum kit, then bass and drums to start the finale. “I’m coming home, I’m coming home,” Trimble swoons as the song comes to an end, finishing off the 39:38 length of Beacon.
Two Door Cinema Club, with the help of Jackknife Lee, deliver a stellar album with Beacon. It goes punch for punch with Tourist History, and has the sounds of Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend and even Silversun Pickups. Stream it while you still can, buy it if you can’t. Trust me.