Review Summary: A catchy and extremely promising debut from a band that deserves your attention.
One thing to get out of the way: I hate pop. It annoys me. But Two Door Cinema Club is more than just your average pop band. Their songs are peppy and upbeat without ever being cheesy, their lyrics are simple without being dumb, and the vocals are catchy. They’re the kind of band who could appeal to the masses without being annoying, and that’s a huge accomplishment in itself. No song on Tourist History is shockingly unique, but they all have their own identity, and you won’t find yourself forgetting which is which.
Okay, so Tourist History doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Two Door Cinema Club isn’t revolutionizing pop or alternative rock. But their music is catchy and entertaining enough that that’s perfectly forgivable, because even though they aren’t doing anything particularly new, the quality of the music here is good enough that you probably won’t notice or care. But despite not being extremely original, Two Door Cinema Club has a unique enough sound that I never found myself comparing them to any specific band.
Album opener “Cigarettes In the Theatre” is among the best the album has to offer, though in general the first half of the album is much weaker than the second. “Do You Want It All"” is a repetitive and somewhat annoying track that I generally find myself skipping over during listens, and it’s a similar story with “This Is the Life”, which is similarly structured and as a result is quite repetitive. Fortunately, the second half of the album makes up for those weak offerings with catchy tunes like “Undercover Martyn”, “I Can Talk” and “What You Know”. Songs like these are the band’s strength, with quick, twangy guitars and lyrics that mix the sound up enough to keep them interesting.
Despite some weak tracks, Tourist History is a fantastic debut that makes me excited for where the band will go next. The sound is already great, and it’ll be interesting to see how the band can expand on it and mature it a bit. I’d love to hear some more mature lyrics and slower songs mixed in with some of the quicker ones. Two Door Cinema Club has tons of potential, and for the most part it’s realized here, but with a bit more work they could really evolve into something big.