The latest Irish buzz band, Bangor's Two Door Cinema Club are easy to classify, their catchy guitar pop sound fitting in perfectly with contemporary indie-rock. Though there's nothing particularly special about Tourist History, it's good light-hearted fun with more than a couple of catchy numbers.
Late last year, Two Door Cinema Club were appearing on 'Ones To Watch' lists all over Ireland and the UK. Both a blessing and a curse, this has led to increased exposure for the Bangor trio, but also means that the expectation on their debut album has become unfairly high. Still, TDCC haven't been called 'the next big thing' for nothing. The have the kind of sound that you can imagine blasting through outdoor stadiums, shamelessly clean and catchy, with the kind of mass appeal that gives them the potential to be an enormous success.
Opener 'Cigarettes in the Theatre' introduces the sharp, jerky Foals-style riffs that are the dominant characteristic of Tourist History, before building to a climactic ending with ravishing brass. Short, snappy songs like 'I Can Talk', with its bouncy vocals and pleasing harmonies, and the nu-wave influenced 'Come Back Home' are positively boogie-inducing too. The problem is, once the initial kick wears off, the poorer songs seem like more of the same, just not as good, with some even bordering on plain dull. Repeated refrains become tedious on more than one track, and even the clattering guitar interlude of 'Do You Want It All' comes too late to rescue the song.
On the basis of this album, it's anybody's guess whether Two Door Cinema Club will become the newest stars of Irish rock music or fade quietly back into obscurity. Either way, expect them to take pride of place on this summer's festival circuit.