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Gameshow (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club transform into a glitzy disco and synth pop-infused powerhouse on their third studio album, 2016's Gameshow. Having garnered favorable attention for their infectious, dance-rock-heavy 2010 debut, Tourist History, the trio of singer/guitarist/programmer Alex Trimble, guitarist/singer Sam Halliday, and bassist/singer Kevin Baird immediately began expanding their sound on their follow-up, 2012's Beacon. However, where that album found them maturing with a softer musical palette and weightier emotionalism, Gameshow is a dynamic shift away from the buoyantly kinetic guitar-based approach of their first two albums. Which isn't to say they've completely abandoned their post-punk roots; tracks like the ferocious "Gameshow" and the dynamic "Surgery" are a perfect balance of Scary Monsters-era David Bowie and Seven and the Ragged Tiger-era Duran Duran. That said, the lion's share of Gameshow is filled with pulsing, neon-toned dance numbers that sound equal parts Giorgio Moroder and '70s Bee Gees. While name-dropping influences feels a bit too easy for the high quality of songwriting on display on Gameshow, the enthusiastic nature by which Two Door Cinema Club have clearly gravitated toward these old-school dance club sounds is worth mentioning. In that sense, the metamorphosis from garagey post-punk to hip, R&B-inflected disco also brings to mind the similar trajectory of contemporary acts like France's Phoenix and Canada's Arcade Fire. Thankfully, the album never sounds like a retro pastiche, and instead the band has found a sweet spot between vintage cool and modern sophistication. These are vibrant productions courtesy of Beacon helmer Jacknife Lee, who frames Trimble's yearning tenor croon with juicy laser-beam synths, Halliday's kinetic Nile Rodgers-esque guitars, and Baird's hip-swaying bass riffs. Cuts like "Bad Decisions" and "Fever" are catchy, falsetto-heavy groovers that bring to mind a mix of the Bee Gees' Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson. Similarly, the romantic and sad-eyed "Invincible" sounds amazingly like a Justin Timberlake ballad if produced by ELO's Jeff Lynne. With Gameshow, Two Door Cinema Club ultimately balance a growing pop maturity with a stylish strut worthy of Saturday Night Fever's Tony Manero. [A Deluxe Edition added a second disc with ten bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Just Bad

Huge fan of these guys! What happened????? And why all these good reviews? What happened to that progressive sound? sounds like they went to a bunch of clubs and decided to make top 40 music that fits the radio. I was excited for another album. I will just take my ball and go home....Seriously disappointed! Bring back your old sound!


Alex Trimble, you sexy beast. I know TDCC put blood, sweat, and tears into this record and based on "Are We Ready" and "Bad Decisions" it's safe to say this album will make me poop myself HARD.


I'm anxious for album to come out!!! I need it


Formed: 2007 in Bangor, Northern Ireland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Mixing electronic polish with guitar-driven hooks à la Phoenix and the Postal Service, Bangor and Donaghadee, Northern Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club feature singer/guitarist/programmer Alex Trimble, guitarist/singer Sam Halliday, and bassist/singer Kevin Baird. Trimble and Halliday met in school, and met Baird through mutual friends. The trio began playing as Two Door Cinema Club in 2007 and skipped going to university to focus on the band. Fortunately, the gamble paid off -- the band's debut EP,...
Full Bio
Gameshow (Deluxe Edition), Two Door Cinema Club
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Customer Ratings