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Album Review: Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon

21st September 2012

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Two Door Cinema Club's first album Tourist History was a swashbuckling debut in 2010; with the Northern Irish trio combining catchy vocal melodies and memorable guitar licks (and a tiny bit of plagiarism á la Bloc Party, but we'll ignore that) to create an infectious indie pop album which even the most die-hard Slipknot fan would struggle not to tap his studded Doc Martens to.

Beacon's Album Cover

With second release Beacon Two Door Cinema Club claimed to be aiming at a 'deeper and more emotional' album.

Beacon does indeed have a greater depth of sound than its predecessor on first impression, with the first two songs 'Next Year' and 'Handshake' giving us a combination of the currently-very-fashionable 80s synth, crushing bass and slightly dirtied guitar tones without losing TDCC's trademark bendy guitar lines and anthemic choruses.
'Sun' represents another step away from Tourist History's 'straight-forward pop' feel, with a more laid-back tempo and an almost Black Keys soul edge, while the climactic 'The World is Watching' manages to combine a huge orchestral arrangement with Metronomy-esque synths.

Whilst the range of sounds on Beacon has definitely expanded, this isn't to say that the album is a dramatic step away from its predecessor. 
The tracks are still generally high-paced and exude the same 'overtly positive' atmosphere that Tourist History did so well; if you listen to the two albums back to back it is quite hard to determine where the first stops and the second begins. 

You can't blame Two Door Cinema Club for not wanting to wander too far from their winning formula, which many bands have been guilty of in the past (MGMT's second album Congratulations comes to mind..). 

Beacon almost feels like the big brother to Tourist History; a bit more mature, slightly cooler, but still sounds similar that can be identified as being from the same musical family. 

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