Northern Ireland trio, Two Door Cinema Club is back with their sophomore album, Beacon, which was released into high expectations after the success of their first album Tourist History and their extremely fun and energetic live shows put them on the map.

Blending together rhythm guitar, synths, peppy beats, and Alex Trimble’s unique vocals, Beacon satisfies many sounds and dance hall ambitions.

Opening track “Next Year” starts off sounding like something out of a video game before the driving drum breaks in. With tender vocals contrasting over the underlying deep tones of bass and synth, their ability to combine and change sounds is highlighted.

With a play on the Devil’s Handshake, appropriately named “Handshake” TDCC demonstrates their all too familiar way of relaying a serious message woven between melodic choruses and delightful riffs.

Speeding things up and adding a bit more groove “Wake Up” begs to awaken the night club in a flurry of pulsing and whirring beats. Contrarily, “Sun” slows down but keeps the bass groove, and adds a bit of coyness as Trimble coolly sings, “And I know that I’m in love with you.”

“Someday” starts things off in chaos before the lyrics threaten to take off and break measure with confidence and word play. The balance of allegro and vivace in the instrumental verses almost gives the track a stop-start feel in an untraditional sense of the word, since it hardly even stops at all.

First single off Beacon “Sleep Alone” teases with an elongated drumroll and gentle caressing guitar strums before hiding under another one of TDCC’s famous exploding choruses. Sleep has all of the components of a perfect single, a compelling rhythm, a very catchy chorus, and an overall promising sound.

“The World is Watching” featuring singer Valentina, is not only a beautiful combination of male and female vocals but of orchestra and pop-rock band. Continuing this gentle side of TDCC, “Settle” tells a tale of an unsettling feeling with dreamy instrumentals you could find a niche in. The cherry on top is the drizzling rain at the very end.

“Spring” adds to the scenery of the album, painting a picture of a fresh and bright love that didn’t last long enough. Meanwhile, “Pyramid” relates things back to nature and tap dances with a jazzy sound, including a smooth riff and cymbal taps.

Title track “Beacon” gets a little warmer and heavier with a fervent bassline and cascading, echoing vocals. True to the meaning of guiding light, every element of the song is sentimental, “Trip the shutter / And keep the picture close / Save it until you need it the most / Because I’m coming home.”

Sometimes with second albums, there’s fear that the band won’t deliver as well as they did on the first. Well this is the exact opposite, as the album definitely does not disappoint and pretty much secures Two Door Cinema Club’s spot at the forefront of the revolutionary UK dance rock scene.

Grade: A
Personal Favorites:
Someday, Settle

P.S. For you Boston Blerds, they’re playing a show on Sept. 30 at House of Blues! And for everyone else, don’t worry, that’s only the start of their tour! Check out other dates here http://twodoorcinemaclub.com/gigs.

I promise you, while their albums are really solid, their live shows are where they really sell it. You don’t want to miss it.

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