Release Date: Jun 21, 2019
Record label: Glassnote Entertainment Group
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival
With 2016's Gameshow, Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club moved away from the kinetic post-punk of their early years and embraced a synthy, vintage disco vibe. On their follow-up, 2019's brightly-attenuated False Alarm, they further develop this approach doubling down on the synths with an even more stylized brand of '80s new wave-inspired dance-pop. Once again working with producer Jacknife Lee (who previously helmed all but one of their albums), bandmates Alex Trimble (vocals, guitar, synths), Sam Halliday (guitars, synths), and Kevin Baird (bass, synths) deliver a somewhat cheeky, unfailingly hooky album that showcases many of their best traits.
False Alarm is an album which begins with the familiar, before plundering the band's avid fans and listeners into a whole new Two Door Cinema Club universe. It is an album that either spins out of control in a desperate effort to break the norm; or, is a work of genius reinvention that has been a gradual change in the making since their previous studio album Gameshow. The more the album is played on loop, the more the idea of it being a genius reinvention turns into a genuine realisation.
Wild experimentation and prioritisation of fun yields mixed results across the band's fourth album, but the risks are admirable in themselves As statements for the announcement of a new album go, launching the record into literal space must rank pretty highly. The lofty revealing of the artwork for 'False Alarm', the fourth album from Two Door Cinema Club, also ushered in a marked visual change for the Northern Irish trio. Highly stylised for the first time, the kitschy, filmic cover (a thematic trend that runs throughout the visuals for the album and its singles) comes in stark contrast to a band who have previously been largely anonymous as people while their music has seen them quietly rise into the upper echelons of the UK indie game.
'False Alarm' definitely falls into the pop spectrum more than anything, but that's what makes it so captivating. Exploring the realms of eccentric pop whilst infusing elements of disco, rock, funk and soul, Two Door Cinema Club have packed this record full of punchy production and anthemic melodies that'll transport listeners to summer festivals from the comfort of their own bedrooms. Tracks like 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' address our relationship with social media through striking synth-pop, successfully accomplishing what it says on the tin, whilst 'Think' and 'Already Gone' contain all the ingredients needed for a fist-pumping stadium tour banger.