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Two Hours Traffic - Topic
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Two Hours Traffic - Topic

Little Jabs Play

With Little Jabs, Canadian rock band and Polaris nominee Two Hours Traffic explore a vibrant confluence of indie rock and power pop. Matching a driving Strokes-like rhythmic aesthetic with hooky melodies and innocent-sounding vocals reminiscent of Crowded House or Marshall Crenshaw, the group delivers a sound that will appeal to any fans of catchy, college-y musical summer fun. ~ Pemberton Roach, Rovi

Territory Play

Two Hours Traffic's third full-length album finds the Canadian pop/rock act, riding high off a Polaris Music Prize nomination for Little Jabs, aiming for something a touch moodier in lyrical feel if not necessarily in musical feeling -- there's still an emphasis on immediate hook-driven, full-bodied songs, as ever sung with clean passion by Liam Corcoran, which "Noisemaker" demonstrates right from the start. Songs such as the title track show that Two Hours Traffic's ear not only for the various kinds of 1970s power pop they're often compared to but some of the more underrated 1990s avatars of that style is working in full effect. The not so secret weapon of their harmonies is often what makes a good song a great one for them, and "Happiness Burns" -- with its pitch-perfect blend of lead vocals, backing wordless singing, and a surging, triumphant arrangement -- is one of the album's strongest. When it comes to the more melancholy numbers, that similar sense of smiling through tears that the band clearly also appreciates comes further to the fore. The crisp drumming and dark bell-chime tones that introduce "Just Listen" seem perfectly suited to the story of collapsed relationships and concern that Corcoran softly if still somehow sunnily sings about. But even sharper might be "Drop Alcohol," with its stellar solo and harmony singing toward the end (in contrast, "Sing a Little Hymn" and its consideration of religious doubt has sharp music but somehow makes the complexity of its subject a touch too pat). ~ Ned Raggett, Rovi
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