Parlophone – 14th October
“Save me / I’ve been drinking wine / and I just made a big mistake / happens all the time” admits Two Door Cinema Club lead singer Alex Trimble, above the broad and humming bass of ‘Bad Decisions’. It’s only the second song into their latest cut, but a new reflective persona is already re-igniting a once fleeting rise that had, since 2013, rapidly ran out of steam.
Depression, alcoholism and tense relations had signalled all but game over for the Irish trio. But quashing any defeatist fears with all guns blazing, Gameshow’s neon-lights drag the party back on the road.
However downbeat Trimble’s lyrical confessions may appear, the emergence of glittering arcade-game arpeggios and fervent key changes leaves the record sounding nothing but upbeat. ‘Ordinary’ for example, is splashed with lashings of 80s synth-pop and sleazy solos, whilst opening single ‘Are We Ready (Wreck)’ boasts the sort of riffs The Maccabees were on the verge of.
The offering does occasionally fall short. Its self-titled track, for example, is overbearingly resonant of Foals’ single ‘Snake Oil’. But this doesn’t discredit the originality of the sizzling and warped ‘Surgery’ or the Prince-esque ballad ‘Invincible’, featuring a scorched-guitar led chorus colossal enough to fill any stadium.
“I discovered this term weltschmertz, the German word for being at odds with the world around you,” explained Trimble in a press release, when articulating his newfound absorption in philosophy. This depth translates throughout, but is sugar-coated with a sheath of intricate-yet-accessible art-rock. This materialises a much riskier formula than their second edition – which made homage to little more than the comforting and singular ground of their debut.
Forming the dazzling icing on top of the rainbow-dyed cake is ‘Je Viens De La’ – a tropical journey beside cool blue lagoons and scorched Miami sands, sending the record veering off into the sunset. Fasten your seatbelts fans – Two Door Cinema Club have gone up a gear and taken a sharp, exciting change of direction.