Two Door Cinema Club - False Alarm - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Two Door Cinema Club - False Alarm

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:7 Release Date:2019-06-21
Two Door Cinema Club - False Alarm
Two Door Cinema Club - False Alarm

Two Door Cinema Club have dropped some solid material over the years, always playing around in a space somewhere between indie and synth pop. They get a little more saccharine in False Alarm, following closely in the footsteps of 2016's Gameshow, with mostly positive results.

Opener 'Once' is okay, but not a knock-out start to the album. Using soaring synths gives it a sense of charging up, though the energy on display isn't entirely contagious. It's fun, but not overly compelling. Follow-up 'Talk', the album's first single, leans heavily on the bass, but the synth, percussion, and vocals slip into near-disco territory. It's more captivating than the opener and probably would have been a better introduction to the album.

Things really get rolling with 'Satisfaction Guaranteed', which goes all out with the 80s electronics, feeling like an early video game tune in the early going. The music and vocals are at their most energetic, and the song slyly riffs on Duran Duran. 'So Many People', meanwhile, works in a funkier 70s style that would be pretty at home on an older Michael Jackson album.

'Think' is the kind of soul song you'd play during a 3 am hookup, all sexy and sweaty, though even it lightens up during the chorus with more poppy synths. 'Nice to See You' feels like a centerpiece track, longer than all the others and more complex, with extra foreplay and development before building into its bouncy, exuberant chorus. And it features a bridge with guest rapping by Open Mike Eagle that is surprisingly not cringy at all.

There are missteps, as in the very next track, 'Break', a short, off-kilter tune that doesn't do much and sounds like a weird AM Gold throwaway. But the band immediately rights itself with 'Dirty Air', a wonderful mix of styles that alternates gritty indie rock riffs with percolating synths and has a clever chorus: "The sky is falling, so pull up a chair. Everyone's watching, but nobody cares."

Second single 'Satellite' is decent, inoffensive, but a little bland. Little guitar flourishes in the background offer a nice counterpoint to the driving bass and sparkling synths, but the chorus lacks a solid hook, kind of running over itself in its hurry to get to the point, which ironically dulls said point.

Thankfully, the set closes really strongly with closing track 'Already Gone', which manages to achieve the high-flying sound the opener failed to reach. This is bombastic and overdone in the best way, with big riffs, falsetto vocals, and splashy drums.

False Alarm is good, but as with previous set Gameshow, isn't as consistent as it could be. There are plenty of brilliant moments, but there are enough blobs of filler to prevent it from truly transcending. If you enjoyed their last album, you'll feel right at home.

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