Two years after the release of their debut album ‘Tourist History’, Bangor’s Two Door Cinema Club return with it’s highly anticipated follow-up, ‘Beacon’. Like its predecessor it’s short, snappy and very to the point. Only a single track breaks the four minute mark. The indie-pop darlings have slowed the pace down but thankfully the hooks are still intact. On Tourist History the hooks were so immediate they bordered on self-conscious whereas on Beacon they’re a lot more self assured. They know they don’t have to beat you into submission with a catchy guitar-line or disco-esque drum beat. It’s as if the band have gone from being the kids who ride their bikes with no hands just to get some attention to becoming self-assured young adults who know they’ve the moves to back up their confidence.
Given the endless touring they did in support of Tourist History it’s no surprise that a lot of Beacon is about the world they’re discovering. The flipside of that is the longing for home, how the world seems to stand still in a blur of airports and hotel, all the while, life continues at home as people move on with their lives. This longing for home is most apparent on the confessional Settle, “When I get home, I want to feel less alone”. After listening you really hope the band have taken some sort of break before they embark on what will no doubt be another endless touring cycle.
Someday is as heavy as Two Door get on Beacon. It’s also the most immediate, with an ever present bass drum until Sam Halliday’s guitar takes over in the chorus. It’s a beefier, more aggressive, urgent side to Two Door Cinema Club and one we’re a little disappointed wasn’t explored more on the album.
Sadly Beacon is not without its faults. The World is Watching sounds like they’re trying to mimic fellow dancefloor favourites Friendly Fires. Despite guest vocals from Valentina (making it TDCC’s first duet) the whole thing comes across as lazy, with the duet idea getting thrown in when they realised the song fails to take off.
Following the fantastic award-winning Tourist History was never going to be an easy task. Still teenagers when they wrote it, Two Door Cinema Club have matured no-end on ‘Beacon’. It’s an album that keeps the catchy lead lines of its predecessor but scraps the teenage fidgeting. An ode to their love of home whilst enduring endless touring. From the opening synth line of Next Year to Alex Trimble’s album closing cries of “I’m coming home” it’s a delight for the most part.
‘Beacon’ shows that there’s more to this Bangor trio than soundtracking mobile phone ads. If Two Door Cinema Club continue to take strides like these between albums then they have an even brighter future ahead of them.