The latest LP from Canadian outfit Two Hours Traffic, Foolish Blood, is a shimmering slice of summer sounding indie pop. The LP moves along at a steady pace through a landscape lined with jangly guitars, big, simplistic drum beats and radio friendly lyrics.
The LP follows on from last year’s EP Siren Spell and is the group’s first major work after 2009’s Territory. Foolish Blood is also the group’s first LP after the departure of guitarist Alec O’Hanley in 2011; that role now being filled by long term member Andrew MacDonald with Nathan Gill, from North Lakes, being drafted in on bass.
With Foolish Blood Two Hours Traffic have undoubtedly produced a solid, pop record, but one that, sadly, is no more than just that. The 10 tracks have all a good pop record should; catchy choruses, jangly guitars and lyrics that evoke memories of happy times, just as long as you don’t pay attention to them too closely. For example “Meaning Of Love”, possibly the the catchiest track on the album , features a simplistic yet instantly infectious beat, over which Liam Corcoran sings “Stuck at the top of the Ferris wheel, the slightest movement you can feel, is this the night you were dreaming of, is this the meaning of love”. Perfectly tightlly packed polished pop.
Yet, for all its melodic infectiousness, upbeat lyrics and instant sing-along accessibility there is a feeling, a slight impression, that the whole thing is just that little too formulaic, a little too targeted and devoid of any real emotion. Even when on “I Don’t Want 2 Want U” Corcoran seemingly addresses the difficulty a person is having moving on from a past relationship, he does so with all the emotional engagement of someone deciding to go to the beach or not.
However, despite these criticisms, Foolish Blood is quite lovely and many of it’s best moments deserve to be all over the airwaves come summer, however it is unluikely that anyone will dig it out again the following year.