Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon
Record Label: Glassnote Records
Release Date: September 4th, 2012
It seems fall is the season of indie-rock, because so many of my favorite indie bands are releasing records; Band of Horses, Mumford & Sons, and The xx, among others, all have records out or coming out. In fact, Imagine Dragons released a new record the same day as Ireland trio Two Door Cinema Club. I’ve never been too familiar with this band, but last month, they released the first single from sophomore record Beacon, “Sleep Alone.” An edited version was on their website for free download for a brief time, and I managed to snag it. It was a very enjoyable track, and I was very excited to check out the rest of the album. The song was very interesting, and I mainly liked the lyrics. They were quite creative, and I wanted to hear more. Well, they finally released Beacon, and it doesn’t disappoint whatsoever.
The records starts off with “Next Year,” and it begins with a rather interesting synth riff, then vocalist Alex Trimble’s signature voice begins with, “I don’t know where I am going to rest my head tonight, so I won’t promise I won’t speak to you today.” I absolutely adore his voice, because it’s so unique. About a minute in, the chorus starts and it’s an extremely addictive chorus. This is one of the best tracks on the record, and it starts off nicely. In fact, a lot of this record is full of intelligent, yet catchy indie-pop/rock songs. Every song is well-crafted, and sophisticated. It’s not your average indie-pop record at all. Next track “Handshake” has a very nice electronic beat in the beginning that really sucks the listener in. While it’s another great track, it sounds like a lot “Next Year.” That’s the main downfall of this record. This certainly is a great record, but most tracks are rather similar. A lot of bands are guilty of this, and it’s not necessarily their fault. However, there’s a horn of some kind heard in the background of “Handshake,” which does make it stand out. While every song is similar, they are memorable, nonetheless. So, while it is a problem, it’s a very minimal one.
There are a lot of highlights on this record, including “Next Year,” “Wake Up,” “Sun,” and first single, “Sleep Alone.” That’s one of my favorite tracks on this record, and it makes sense why it would be a first single. In fact, the whole first half of the record is just one big highlight, because every song really hits. Fourth track, “Sun,” is one of the highlights I mentioned, and one of the most enjoyable tracks on the record. There’s a very infectious chorus, and this is a track that’s very minimal with the synth, too. This is a much more “organic” track, which brings up the indie-rock aspect; guitarist Sam Halliday has a very prominent guitar riff throughout the track. There are also horns, as well as other things, too. It makes the track sound bigger than it is. Combined with the lyrics, it’s a very “epic” track, to say the least. The seventh track is “Sleep Alone,” which I’ve mentioned a few times, and this may be my favorite song on the whole record; it sums up exactly what Two Door Cinema Club is about, honestly. It has a very huge chorus, and the lyrics are very creative, which is so hard for bands to achieve nowadays. It’s a very enjoyable track all around. While I said the first half of the record is a highlight, that’s not to say the second half is not, either. The next track “The World Is Watching” is another one of those “organic tracks” and it sounds so nice. While I was listening to this record, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it; it’s intelligent and sophisticated indie-pop. As for the track itself, it features a female singer, which makes the song stand out a bit, and it’s another one of my favorite tracks.
The last two tracks is simply put, a one-two punch; “Pyramid” is a very interesting track that has a very atmospheric sound to it. It’s clear that this band want to outdo themselves, and this song is an example of that. When the chorus comes up about a minute in, it just builds itself up, and is suddenly is a bit softer again, which is rather unexpected. This is another track has lyrics, like “Sleep Alone,” that tell a story. I would love to see this track as a single. The last track, and the title track, “Beacon” is another track that really hits. It’s not as powerful as “Sleep Alone” or “Pyramid,” but it really closes out the album on a very nice note, and is very enjoyable, nonetheless.
I didn’t have any problems with this record at all, other than the fact that a lot of the songs are very similar. They’re all memorable, but there’s not too much variety in this record. However, it’s a very sophisticated record, because it’s indie-pop that’s much more intelligent than that of their peers. It’s not the most unique record I’ve ever heard, but it’s very enjoyable, and extremely catchy. Fans of indie-rock / indie-pop need to check this record out, or they’re missing out on something amazing. The lyrics are another thing I absolutely adore about this record; they’re not cheesy, boring, unoriginal, cliché, or awful. They’re very creative, and really tell stories, which is not something I see and hear very often. Essentially, this will be one of my favorite records of the year.