New Music: Two Door Cinema Club – Gameshow
A gameshow usually consists of overly ordinary people putting on a facade of enjoyment in order to gain a substantial amount of cash. Everything down to Steve Harvey’s whacky smile on Family Feud seems, at least to a certain strange degree, inauthentic. The usual suspect in this case of fabrication is the appeal to a wider audience which, by default, garners more revenue. Thus, when you have more money, you can pull off more tricks, which ultimately leads to a wider viewer turnout…the cycle repeats. It’s television pandering at its finest.
The title of the Irish outfit Two Door Cinema Club’s third studio release is, somewhat ironically, Gameshow. Now before we go into why this title is incredibly fitting, lets cover some background on the band:
The blogosphere’s first exposure to the indie pop trio was from their debut album Tourist History — an album whose lyrics were as cringeworthy as its instrumentals were bland. But, it struck a sweet spot with many listeners who found themselves entranced with the rising sugary indie pop trend. Fortunately, this trend soon faded after groups bereft of any defining qualities (Grouplove, Foster the People) made their way into the mainstream and were quickly dismissed. But this didn’t stop Two Door Cinema Club from shoving their jumbled array of clad songs down our throats — they went on to release Beacon two years later, which was, at best, a failed attempt at experimentation. Riddled with pop clichés and eye-rolling lyrics such as, “I built a hive, became one with the bees / But we fell like rain, got lost into the sea,” Beacon exposed no more about the band than what was featured on Tourist History.
Now we’re back with Gameshow. After a self-imposed hiatus, the trio has come back with more punch — in the form of an early 80’s pop throwback record. Now don’t get it twisted, this record is a step for the group, just not the right direction. At times it even feels like the band is stepping in no particular direction.
Two Door Cinema Club takes a sound that was perfected by seminal groups like the Bee Gees, and eviscerates it by breathing 2016 cliché pop-life into it. The songs structures are overly simplified, the lyrics are dumbed down — even the production is way too glitzy for this type of pop revival. It’s as if you took Odessa, cut out every third bar, dipped it in chocolate gloss, and presented it at a god damn Chainsmokers concert. Not to mention the tired excuse for lyrical content the album attempts to deliver, “Gravity is losing its hold, ho, oh, oh, old / I can feel it fading, gravity is fading.” Much like Two Door Cinema Club’s lyrics which are devoid of any true authenticity, I can feel myself fading into a coma as I attempt to listen to this more than once. It equates to watching an actual gameshow.
And if it sounds like I’m mad, you’re right. Why do this to a solidified sound if you’re not going to do it justice? There’s plenty of 70’s/80’s revivalist music movements happening right now — and most of them at least have a bit of taste. But this? N-No. Do yourself a favor and watch HBO’s Westworld instead. Seriously, great show. Here’s a trailer.