Whether it be the grinding grooves of “Solace Unexpected,” an anxious melody of “The Turnaround,” a relaxed swing in “Caught You in Love” or the patient harmonies of “Mother’s Son,” This Time are always doing something unique to stir up a response from listeners in their latest record, the moderate Two, which was released this year to a pretty good reception from both fans and critics alike. Two sees This Time skewing pastoral rhythms with plaintive rhymes in “Street Walking Blues,” punishing basslines with poppy hooks in “Right in Front of You,” OG alternative rock riffage with subtly modern lyricism in “Around” and volatile percussive patterns with black and white harmony in “Be Somebody,” but for as limber as the band sounds here, I do not believe that they never quite stretch themselves too thin creatively.
The main crown jewel in Two is definitely its first single, “Runaway,” which probably best encapsulates the sound of this group as it currently stands. The mix of vintage pop construction, energetic alternative rock melodies and punkish adrenaline definitely creates an addictive cocktail that fans of different backgrounds can get into with ease, and while it’s hardly the first time that this combination of sounds has been found in one LP, it’s fair to say that nothing here sounds particularly recycled or unoriginal at all. Contrarily, I think This Time are putting a really special spin on all of this material, without striking so far outside of the mainstream that we wouldn’t recognize what they’re trying to accomplish through their music.
It’s a fairly simple pop effort from a band that hasn’t received a whole lot of press outside of the Canadian underground scene they come from, but if you like cut and dry tunes with a tenacious little kick, you really can’t go wrong with This Time’s new album Two. There are a couple of cosmetic issues with the finish on the mix, but aside from its raw quality, there’s nothing going wrong on either side of the glass in this record, and that alone sets it apart from a lot of the other LPs making noise left of the dial this year.