Two Hours Traffic - Foolish Blood
Record Label: Bumstead Records
Release Date: Feb. 19, 2013
It can't be easy being a band in Prince Edward Island, but leave it to the boys in Two Hours Traffic to prove us all wrong. After garnering commercial and critical success with 2007's breakthrough album Little Jabs and 2009's Territory, the quartet is back with Foolish Blood, an engaging and cohesive collection produced by Darryl Neudorf (New Pornographers, Neko Case, The Sadies). Though their songs clang and clatter with garage rock intensity, there's an ornate sense of pop songcraft that sets them apart from many of their contemporaries. Easily their best album to date, Foolish Blood is sterling from start to finish.
"Magic," is zesty, jangly and nothing short of perfect. Similarly, "Audrey," is ringing, buoyant and and boasts a deeply memorable chorus. Arguably one of the album's best is "Amour Than Amis," a more introspective effort that is still inarguably danceable and shimmering. The disc's first half finishes with the bubbly "Last Star," the lo-fi Strokes-infused "Meaning of Love," and the sun-kissed "I Don't Want 2 Want U," a song that hearkens back to the 1970s. Foolish Blood's second half with the minute-long instrumental "Adventureland," which basically serves as a prelude to the tightly packed "Faster 4 U," as immaculate a four-minute pop song as any released this year. Now eight songs in, Foolish Blood has yet to deliver a dud and that trend continues with the giddy romp "Ready for a Look," the ruminative "Strangers on the Street," and the glimmering singalong "O My Love."
The most amazing part about Foolish Blood is that it sounds effortless, almost as if the band could write a sequel to this in their sleep. Everything about the effort drips with polish, crispness and confidence. Now ten years into a criminally overlooked career, this Canadian quartet has tapped into something truly potent, and Foolish Blood is proof of that. 11 songs, 33 minutes, not one stronger than the other. This is how it should always be. Always. Only thing left to write is this: If Two Hours Traffic isn't on your radar, then shame on you.