Charlottetown’s Two Hours Traffic returns with their seventh album, Foolish Blood, a lighthearted and cohesive piece that is a departure from the band’s traditional indie-pop sound. It marks a major shift in the band’s dynamic on and off the stage. Their breakthrough album Little Jabs introduced heartfelt lyrics and catchy guitar chords. Foolish Blood moves in a more radio-friendly direction and away from the folk roots of previous albums.
With the help of famed producer Darryl Neudorf, who has worked with bands like The Sadies and New Pornographers, Two Hours Traffic has managed to create a whole new sound. Each track has a surprisingly catchy quality that leaves you humming guitar riffs and tapping your feet.
The opening track, “Magic,” is a little slice of happiness that sets the tone for the whole album with percussion designed to hook its talons into the listener, demanding attention the very moment you press play. A consistent and heavy drum quality throughout the entirety of the album acts to reinforce a retro ’60s sound, and of course this sound wouldn’t be complete without the occasional simultaneous group vocal croon that would do the Beach Boys proud.
Another highlight is the track “Meaning of Love,” which is the album’s earworm that starts off with attention grabbing syncopation and leads into a chorus that you will be humming for days.
A punchy guitar sound rings through each track and acts as the backbone of the album’s natural indie rock sound. Hearty instrumental backdrops with strong guitar leads and groovy bass lines are echoed with equally powerful and poppy lyrics. The tracks tell the tale of contemplated love, growing up and summer fun, making for a light-hearted and happy-go-lucky album that you can’t help but sing along to.
The vocals have a quality not unlike The Shins, which create a perfectly enjoyable sound. Each song has a crisp and clean production, allowing the album to flow effortlessly between tracks.
Overall, Two Hours Traffic’s Foolish Blood is the perfect pick-me-up album for any occasion, and a must-have for any fan of indie rock.