It may be titled False Alarm but let’s be clear, there’s absolutely no doubt that Two Door Cinema Club are back with a bonafide juggernaut in their most industrious album to date.
It’s difficult to now recognise those three fresh faced school friends from Bangor, Co. Down who hit the ground running in 2007 with their impish guitars and side-swept fringes, such has been their metamorphosis. But one thing that has always remained is their knack of penning an infectious, crawls-right-under-your- skin pop songs; and those pop songs are bigger, more ambitious and more illustriously liberated than ever.
Synthpop, electrofunk, nods to Bowie and Talking Heads, psychedelia, rap solos and riffs that could give Nile Rogers a run for his money – this is no ordinary Two Door record. Whilst singles ‘Talk’, ‘Satellite’ and ‘Dirty Air’ have given a flavour of what to expect; False Alarm, is in some ways the antithesis of their last album, despite seeing a continuation of some of the themes and sounds.
Previous album Gameshow came off the back of a turbulent time for the trio and they were, in their own words, “mad at everything”. But they’ve turned that dissatisfaction on its head and taken a more sardonic tone – taking themselves quite clearly out of their comfort zone (with the help of producer Jacknife Lee) and not too seriously; not only sonically but in the surrounding marketing. And what we’re left with is a huge leap forward for guitar music and pop music alike; proving that you can comment on the state of social and environmental affairs, but you can make it a bit less doom and gloom and do it with lashings of disco, funk and soul.
Standout tracks include opener ‘Once’ which explores the idea of being a slave to followers and likes under the guise of a polished, 80s style, synth infused powerhouse. ‘Nice To See You’ sees them join forces with Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba for what is probably the biggest departure from their previous offerings. Twanging bass meets cantankerous pop and is accented by a hint of rap from Open Mike Eagle in a moment not too dissimilar to Snoop Dogg’s intermission in Katy Perry’s ‘California Girls’. It may sound bizarre on paper, but it works, and that’s a sentiment that runs through all 10 tracks.
And because no good pop album is complete without a mention of love lost, albeit topically in the form of the Internet addressing the mortals that abused it, final track ‘Already Gone’ provides both the most personal and most anthemic moment in a rousing-end-of-a-festival-set manner with lingering guitars and a call and response chorus.
It’s distinctly Two Door Cinema Club but it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen or heard from them before. It’s clever. It’s big-league. It’s ballsy. And most of all it’s fun.
False Alarm is released on 21 June 2019 via Prolifica Inc.