Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Flynndie Reviews - Blog #11: Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History

Written 15th March 2011:

Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History

Today’s album review comes from a band that I was lucky enough to catch the highlights of their set for their performance at last summer’s Reading Festival on the NME/Radio 1 stage (my personal favourite stage as it’s the best place to discover these types of great up and coming smaller bands!) I managed to catch their performance late on BBC3 (yes I know, I should still be actually going to these type of Festivals, but I’m gonna use the lame excuse of I’m getting too old for it now!), but at the same time watching their performance on the box helped me to take in, in full a great performance by a band I didn’t really know much about at the time. Needless to say after being very impressed by their set, I thought I must track down the album immediately! So it is now, some 6 months later, I have finally got round to buying it and this here be the review of their debut album ‘Tourist History’.

Right, so let’s take a quick look at the band first. They are a 3-piece group hailing from Bangor, Northern Ireland and are made up from Alex Trimble (Lead Vocals, Guitar & Synth), Sam Halliday (Guitar & Vocals) and Kevin Baird (Bass & Vocals). They formed in 2007 and released their first EP in January 2009 called ‘Four Words to Stand On’, before their full debut album, this here ‘Tourist History’, was released in March 2010.

So onto the album then and things get started with opening track ‘Cigarettes in the Theatre’, which also previously appeared as a track on the ‘Four Words to Stand On’ EP. The track opens with some tingling guitar before the first taste of synthesisers crash in for the first time on the album (but certainly not the last!) and the track goes into full on ‘Indie-Synth-Pop’ as I will describe it. We also get our first taste of Alex Trimble’s softly spoken, yet powerful voice that accompanies the well written lyrics by this band. Instantly from this track you can tell this album is already likely to bit a lot of fun. ‘Come Back Home’ follows on next and continues the excellent work done by the first track to encapsulate the listener in this fast-paced Indie pop record. Although the track starts off with slow synth effects, it’s not very long before guitar and bass kick in with a very bouncy rhythm throughout the verses before the song hits with its great sing-along “Now you’re on your own/Won’t you come back home/See you not that kind/To find the strength to find another way”! Trust me it’s a very catchy chorus!

Track 3 ‘Do you want it all?’ slows down the frenetic pace slightly from the opening two tracks but still continues with nice melodic Indie-Pop. The track literally repeats the line “Do you want it all?” throughout, but the melody and Alex’s voice really carry the song and it still sounds good, despite me struggling to explain just quite how in this paragraph! The track finishes with another ace frenetic electro-rock-out. ‘This is the life’ opens with what sounds like a guitar-riff played backwards, before a high-pitched but yet another easy listening riff leads into the chant-along like chorus of “If this is the life/Is the life/Who’d argue?” The track features an excellent but cleverly-worked duelled guitar ‘fight-off’ between Alex and Sam, and is a nice way to sign-off the track.

Next with its acoustic like picking at the start ‘Something good can work’ nonchalantly makes its way into the album, with an understated riff flowing gently behind hit, and this is simply a track you will find yourself nodding along to without even realising it, such it’s subtle catchiness. The same understated-ness cannot be said about previous single “I Can Talk”, with its robotic-like chant at the start followed by a 150mph guitar-riff, and then heading into an old-school disco vibe throughout before ending on the chants again, it’s a very direct track for the listener!

This is followed by track 7 and another single ‘Undercover Martyn’, which although doesn’t quite have the same musical impact as the previous track, it still hurtles along at an average speed of 75mph on the Indie-Disco Highway! I’d also just like to point out it’s also not about me being ‘undercover’ in anyway, as note the incorrect spelling of Martin in the song-title! ;o)

‘What you know’ kicks in with another high-flying guitar solo and its calypso drum rhythm making me wish I could return to my youth of being 18 and at Indie-Club with my hands freely in the air while busting some moves!

‘Eat that up, It’s good for you’ I can only describe as pure Indie-pop perfection! This whole track is incredibly catchy, and I would defy anyone to not have a wry smile appear on their face the first time they listen to this. Starting off with a church organ to open the track, it then drifts into a catchy happy-clappy rhythm, with a playful, high-pitched guitar backing it while Alex sings about being “Sky-high” and “Fighting off the space-ships”. This track clearly has a charm of its own and even ends in a crescendo of orchestration sounds, which still don’t sound out of place on it! Closing track ‘You are not stubborn’ is actually a track that is also anything but stubborn, with its jolly-romp of a beat pulsing through it, and it’s a nice little track to close of an altogether fun album throughout!

So, these three young lads from County Down, Northern Ireland, have created a fantastic fun-sounding debut album, which considering some of the sounds and effects on this album is a superb achievement from a 3-piece band. As you can probably tell I really like this album, and having already given it plenty of listens since getting hold off it I’m going to award this album 8 bags of popcorn out of 10 and make that the family-sized bags as well, as this is a really good fun album to listen too! If I’m being honest I haven’t been this impressed with a debut album by a 3-piece band since a band you may have heard off called ‘Muse’ turned up on the scene back in 1999, so I’m hoping these lads are a good one to watch out for in the long-term future as well.

History Tourist ‘Flynny’

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