With 2016's Gameshow, Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club moved away from the kinetic post-punk of their early years and embraced a synthy, vintage disco vibe. On their follow-up, 2019's brightly attenuated False Alarm, they further develop this approach, doubling down on the synths with an even more stylized brand of '80s new wave-inspired dance-pop. Once again working with producer Jacknife Lee (who previously helmed all but one of their albums), bandmates Alex Trimble (vocals, guitar, synths), Sam Halliday (guitars, synths), and Kevin Baird (bass, synths) deliver a somewhat cheeky, unfailingly hooky album that showcases many of their best traits. Specifically, Trimble sounds especially at home on False Alarm, his clear tenor nicely framed by fluorescent keyboards, percolating coffee beats, and icy guitar shimmer. Tracks like the "Talk," "Satisfaction Guaranteed," and "Satellite" are ebullient anthems that bring to mind such iconic '80s acts as Yello, Yazoo, and Human League. It's also nice to hear the trio embrace more contemporary sounds as on the clubby "Nice to See You," which features a mid-song rap from Open Mike Eagle. Similarly, they gravitate toward a slow-grinding R&B pulse on "Think," and take a frenzied sidestep into Krautrock territory on "Dirty Air." False Alarm is a colorful, good-time album by a band that's maturing, and having fun at the same time.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar