Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History (2010)

As someone born in the UK in the early 2000’s there are two songs that I and everyone else at that time knew, Mr Brightside by The Killers and Somewhere Only We Know by Keane. In 2004 these songs were everywhere and even little 2-year old me was listening to them. Even as I grew up they remained two of the staple songs I listened to. Then, by the time 2016 rolled around, I had discovered a band by the name of Two Door Cinema Club. A band who seemed to be the result of some freak science experiment where The Killers and Keane were blended into one band. And it has to be said that the experiment seemed to have worked out really well.

The band itself hails from Northern Ireland and in 2010 they released their debut album Tourist History. As I’ve said the sound of the band nestles somewhere in between The Killers and Keane. Their sound is very electric and filled with intensely catch guitar rifts. The drums are probably a little bit punchier than The Killers but they share the same synthy melodies. As for the Keane comparison, the lead singer Alex Trimble has an innocent, almost mousey voice that is similar in tone to Tom Chaplin’s. His voice is just loud enough that it is not lost behind the instrumentation in some of the more elaborately produced songs, but is quiet enough to come across as sensitive and somewhat vulnerable in the albums more intimate moments.

Despite these comparisons, it must be said that TDCC in no way rips off any band. There is this ever-present energy that persists throughout Tourist History. The extremely catchy choruses, accompanied by the equally infectious melodies made by the guitars and the punchy percussion, make each song a thrill to listen to. Songs like What You Know, I Can Talk and Come Back Home never bore and never seise to entertain. Whilst some songs maintain this energy for the full length of the song, Tourist History also has a few tracks that burn slightly slower, whilst still reaching the same levels of excitement by the end of its duration. For instance, Do You Want It All? starts comparatively mellow with a warm, synth-led set of instrumentation, alongside extremely soft vocals from Trimble that are layered upon during the chorus, adding to the mellowness of the song. However, by the halfway point, the song explodes into an electric guitar-led finale, recapturing the vibrancy seen throughout the rest of the project. Special mention does have to be given to the lead guitarist Sam Halliday as it is his immense talent that not only brings together this song but also the album as a whole. Without him, the catchiness and fun of this album would not be the same.

Overall, Tourist History is an exhilarating from start to finish. So much so that I can confidently say that this album is one of my favourite albums of all time. There are not many projects that fill me with as much happiness than this one. The instrumentation is some of the most memorable I’ve heard and the sensitive nature of Trimble’s vocals make this album incredibly wholesome. Well worth a listen.

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