Two Door Cinema Club - Gameshow - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Two Door Cinema Club - Gameshow

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:7 Release Date:2016-10-14

Two Door Cinema Club are one of the more successful indie bands going right now, and it seems they have decided to help channel one of its recent trends, namely, moving the retro sound back from the mid/late 80s into the late 70s/early 80s. Whereas their previous work was middle-of-the-road indie rock, Gameshow goes gauzy glitter, skipping the neon in favor of sequins.

The opener, 'Are We Ready? (Wreck)' isn't quite, as it exhibits some plodding verses and a chorus that only slightly picks up the energy. It seems a strange pick for a single, as it's not really indicative of what the band is doing this go round. The follow-up, 'Bad Decisions', would have been a perfect opener, and is where the band hits its stride and Alex Trimble's falsetto makes its first appearance. In fact, pretending the first track doesn't exist and starting here is my advice. It just feels like a classic "welcome to our world" song, inviting you into the band's kaleidoscopic sound. The chorus is absolutely hook-encrusted, with great synth stabs backing up the soaring vocals and groovy guitars.

Interestingly, the group seems to take some cues from M83's recent album, Junk, which lurched strongly into yacht rock terrain. 'Fever' and closer 'Je Viens De La' are two of the more prominent offenders, slipping into straight disco, which somehow isn't ridiculous, especially in the latter case, with the album ending strongly. In fact, much of the album veers off in the direction of disco and funk, with some hearty bass lines powering the pop. And Trimble's singing spends a lot of time in a Bee Gees-esque range. This often works, but at times it goes beyond my tolerance, like with 'Invincible', which is a little too precious, a little too Michael Jackson, for its own good.

There are also callbacks to older sounds in the band's oeuvre, like the title track, which brings back the jangly guitars. 'Lavender', another standout track, takes its time in the verses with slow, sweet grooves that build to really fun, punchy choruses. 'Good Morning' uses a lot of the same tricks, positioning the flickering guitar front and center during the choruses but letting keys and gimmicks play in the verses.

What Two Door Cinema Club has achieved is something that sounds both incredibly fresh and terribly retro. It's fun, funky, and frothy. In essence, it's transient, pure pop, and in a way, that makes it as timeless as it is disposable. I think that in twenty years, it will be hard to determine if this was released in the late 2010s or the late 1970s.

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