Tourist History

Philip Rylands-Richey

I’ve been listening to Two Door Cinema Club’s debut album for weeks, and I’ve only just realised how much control the boyish, carrot top lead singer has over my emotions; In a single song, he’ll tug on my heartstrings so hard that they snap, yet he’ll just as easily tie them around my wrists and knees like a marionette and have me moshing whenever he sees appropriate. Ridiculous analogies aside, this is incredibly appealing music and however many times I listen to it, I always find that it’s fresh and exciting to listen to. The album’s three to four minute songs mainly consist of jangly guitar riffs, wonderfully optimistic vocals, and fantastically tight melodies. In short, there isn’t a single bad track on this record.

Frontman Alex Trimble has a likeable, innocent tone to his voice, but I feel like he could have been more adventurous with it. The same can be said for the majority of the band’s songs; they’ve found a good sound, but they’ve decided to stick to it a little too stringently. Fortunately though, some songs have moments of greatness, like the beautiful line “And she spoke words that would melt in your hands” in Undercover Martyn and the truly wonderful riff in Something Good Can Work.

Cigarettes In The Theatre kicks the album off with real verve and energy, grabbing the listener and cramming their ears with dazzling guitar and a throbbing tempo. This song proves that TDCC can achieve real greatness in their music, because not only is it technically brilliant (the lyrics and melodies are as tight as ever) but it makes you feel as if the singer is talking directly to you about his troubles.

The album then takes on a more desperate, poignant style with Come Back Home, which depicts a man longing for a girl that he’s lost. The line: “So now you’re on your own, won’t you come back home?” is about the singer going for broke and ringing the girl, explaining that he’s falling apart without her.

Next up is the superb Undercover Martyn, which features dizzying harmonies and wild switches between thoughtful admiration and bitter indictments. It’s an account of the lead singer missing his girlfriend at one point, and then suddenly remembering how cruel she was to him.

Do You Want It All is the next song, and also the weakest. Vocals that are far too syrupy and the three line repetition of “Do you want it do you want it do you want it all?” makes for a fairly bland song. However, it still carries TDCC’s charm, and is by no means a bad tune-it’s just nowhere near as good as the rest of the album.

Completely dwarfing the song before it in comparison is the epic This Is The Life, offering a tune so euphorically wondrous, it should definitely be the song TDCC are associated with, because it shows the best that they can offer.

Next up is Something Good Can Work, a cheery insight into a perfectly functioning relationship. It’s got a very home-grown feel to it, because instead of using the immaculate electric guitar samples we know and love, they’re scratchier and messier this time round. This song also uses a xylophone for the riff and a banjo for the intro, making this a very different track, but a magnificent one nonetheless.

I Can Talk is next, which is classic TDCC all over; a thrilling blend of reverbing electronica and short, sharp phrases for the lyrics-a tremendous song.

What You Know is the next track, and probably the one that Two Door Cinema Club are actually associated with. Understandably, too-it’s catchier that Velcro and really evokes in the tune what the lead singer is saying in the lyrics. The idea behind the song is that he’s sussed out exactly what a girl is feeling and feels smug because of it-the guitar work conveys this smugness effortlessly.

Eat That Up, It’s Good For You begins with the line “You would look a little better don’t you know if you just wore less makeup”. The whole track is full of lyrics as gorgeous as this, and the tune to the song is better than anything I’ve heard on the album, making this my favourite track of the bunch.

The last song of the album is You’re Not Stubborn, a charmingly cynical romp through the lead singer’s beliefs and views. This is not only a fantastic song in its own right, but it’s also a fitting end to a terrific album.

I’d be lying if I said Two Door Cinema Club’s music was anything ground-breaking, (the Bangor trio have taken a lot of inspiration from the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party) but that doesn’t detract from its brilliance. TDCC’s infectious cadences, awkward charm and lyrics that manage to be romantic without being cloying will instantly draw you in, and hopefully you’ll be left as eager for more as I am.


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