Swear I'm not Paul: Album Review: Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Album Review: Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History

Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History

The music world, and particularly the Irish music scene, goes through phases. What happens is that a mega-band comes along and has a huge impact with their debut album (and sometimes the follow-up too), bringing with them a newish sound, as well as a whole fresh approach to things. In the 00s, the Strokes were one of these bands. After the release of Is This It, countless post-Strokes bands came on the scene, some even went for the same look.

A lot of acts are taking queues from Vampire Weekend at the moment, and Two Door Cinema Club have definitely taken notice of that New York band's self-titled debut. Although formed in 2007, Two Door Cinema Club have a very "now" sound. Their music has nods to late 00s bands such as Bloc Party and Phoenix, and is all the better for it. Opening track 'Cigarettes in the Theatre' sounds like one of these VW-influenced songs, and at first you feel the album is going to be a sub-par attempt at deck-shoe chic.

However, on track two 'Come Back Home' it all changes, and the album gets infinitely better from there. 'This is the Life' sounds staggering like one of the 00s' most underrated bands, Mumm-Ra. It is a stomping guitar-driven song with a marvellous hook and perhaps should be a future single.

'Do You Want It All?' was already released as the B-Side to 'Something Good Can Work', both featured here. 'Do You Want It All' has an addictive refrain which will seep into your conscious - you'll find yourself singing it at random intervals after days apart from the album. 'Something Good Can Wait' is Two Door Cinema Club's finest hour so far, and the centrepiece of Tourist History. The tripping-over-words vocals are extremely endearing, unlike the missed opportunity of 'I Can Talk' which tries to do much and never gets anywhere.

'Undercover Martyn' is the current single from the album, and an excellent choice. It has radio written all over it, and is better than a lot of the current dross being played, such as Owl City. 'Eat That Up, It's Good For You' sounds like it could be a Postal Service tune, and thus is the kind of thing that those Owl City fans should actually be lapping up instead of some dimwitted tune about fireflies and goodbyes.

A lot of the songs sound like singles, 'What You Know' would definitely be a contender, were it not ruined by a horrible instrumental section. All in all, there's much more here to savour than not, making up for a fantastically accomplished debut album. They narrowly missed out on the final ten for BBC's Sound of 2010 poll, and on the basis of this, the Beeb missed an opportunity. Definitely ones to keep an eye on, and until they make their masterpiece: This'll do, Pig, this'll do.


David said...

Great debut. Got it this morning before work and just listened to it.

Ronan said...

If you like this, you might want to check out Delphic. The two bands toured together last year, and both were longlisted on the BBC Sound of 2010 poll.