Album review: Two Door Cinema Club – ‘Tourist History’ (Kitsune)

They're Northern Ireland's brightest hopes since, er, Snow Patrol...

Up until about six months ago, the world at large could be forgiven for thinking that the only bands Northern Ireland ever churns out are of the “punk” and “rock” variety (we’re forgetting about [a]Snow Patrol[/a] on purpose). Bangor’s [a]Two Door Cinema Club[/a] are apparently hell-bent on proving otherwise, peddling the kind of awkward electropop that could score a million broken-hearted teenage romances given half the chance. Already bigged up by the likes of [a]Kanye West[/a], their debut album is a short, sharp shock to the system. Yeah, they may look like a band that would steal your library books rather than your girlfriend, but that just makes us love them even more.

Two Door’s stuttering yet spiky songs are tighter than a snake’s bumhole in a sandstorm. Each track is an economical three minutes or so and, barring the frankly barmy trumpet-led break-down at the end of album opener ‘Cigarettes In The Theatre’, the trio wisely decide to rein in their youthful exuberances for the rest of the record. Listening to the likes of the thrillingly optimistic ‘What You Know’ and ‘I Can Talk’ makes you feel like you could wrestle former WWE slaphead ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and win (of course, he’d beat the shit out of you, but it’s nice to pretend).

You can’t fault the band’s sunny outlook though. After years of touring it looks like their number has finally come up, and they’re grabbing hold of their chance with the same vigour as a 13-year-old boy getting his first feel. “Let’s make this happen girl/ You’re gonna show the world that something good can work/ And it can work for you/And you know it will” offer the lyrics to recent single ‘Something Good Can Work,’ and by the song’s end we’re willing to believe it too.

So, by thieving a guitar sound from ‘New Romance’-era [a]Pretty Girls Make Graves[/a] and putting it alongside synthesized drumbeats and hushed vocals TDCC have created their own style, but they’ve also got a positivity that is as catchy as chlamydia at one of Belle De Jour’s ‘parties’. Don’t believe us? Try listening to the powerpop of ‘Undercover Martyn’ or album closer ‘You’re Not Stubborn’ and not feel compelled to channel your inner Brian Blessed and go out and conquer Everest. We dare you. Don’t tell the emos, but it seems like being happy is the new being sad.

Edwin McFee

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Click here to get your copy of Two Door Cinema Club’s ‘Tourist History’ from the Rough Trade shop.