This is a cracking new album from Two Door Cinema Club and takes them in a new direction from their original indie rock sound, which influenced numerous bands such as The 1975 and Viola Beach. Whilst some fans may be disappointed that they have changed their style, most should welcome this fresh approach after their slightly weaker second album – which still had some bangers. Gameshow is an album heavy with 80s nostalgia, a theme which delightfully seems to be reappearing everywhere. Frontman Alex Trimble implies that they garnered inspiration from Prince and David Bowie’s approach to pop – in that it can still be artistic and avant-garde. This is evident in their latest sound, highlighted in the title track which discusses record labels as puppet masters and claims that ‘Nobody wants me / Fried over easy’, suggesting that a modern society only wants pop songs that all sound similar.
However, this album is far superior to Beacon and a step up from Tourist History, there are some great songs on here. The three singles released so far are all strong, guitar heavy pop tracks, ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’ is an anthemic belter which discusses modern consumerist culture, a recurring commentary throughout the album. ‘Bad Decisions’ is a funky pop dance number and should resonate with anyone who has ever indulged in a bottle of Glen’s. The theme of guilty pleasures features several times on Gameshow, with the track ‘Fever’ focusing heavily on the cyclical nature of alcohol and drug abuse. The narrator of ‘Fever’ talks about a crude hangover and awakening with ‘a fire in my head / And it's keeping me from getting out of bed’ which reverts to the character stating ‘Don't feel like getting home / We got that fever catching on’. The guitar riffs present here and throughout the album are generously rich and will rouse numerous air guitars.
The composition of the songs here show that Two Door Cinema Club have refined their song writing talents and attention to production, there is organic progression with this album. Trimble takes influence from Paul McCartney with ‘Invincible’ and Daft Punk style vocals with 80s synths on ‘Surgery’. Gameshow is an album that sounds great and almost develops its own genre as a blend of disco electronic rock and pop, DERP if you will. Not only do Two Door Cinema Club impress with their music but their deluxe edition vinyl is also presented on two sexy blue records, plus a bonus 7-inch with two extra tracks, with some shimmering and colourful album artwork. Whilst this album is best described as half instant bangers and half growers, after a few listens each track displays the gifted musicians in their most developed stage yet; the intricate extra details in the music and the layered evocative lyrics become delightfully evident. In a world where much of the leading chart music has become repetitive and soulless, Two Door Cinema Club provide a breath of fresh air and demonstrate that they are still relevant and able to produce top quality music. Keep an eye out for our review of their London tour date in February 2017.