This Time release Two
Guided by an oozing guitar melody that is unlike any other that we hear in the songs beside it in the tracklist of the This Time record Two, “Street Walking Blues” doesn’t waste a second in gripping us with its molasses-like harmonies. Here, This Time wants to establish themselves as an instrumentally-savvy band with a vocal centerpiece as gilded as any rock artifact, and it’s a theme that we will find through ever composition included in the fruits of their most recent trip to the recording studio. “Street Walking Blues” is a heady sample, but it’s not the only notable tune in this collection by any means.
Rebellion, as both an attitude and way of life, is a primary ingredient in the construction of “Be Somebody,” “The Turnaround,” “Around” and “Right in Front of You,” but I don’t think it’s enough of a force to relegate Two into the punk revival category that some would place it in. For the most part, the main model being followed in this disc belongs to the pop standard, with the single “Runaway” personifying the band’s narrative more than any other here, and while this doesn’t make the record a singularly-splendored sellout, it definitely allows for it to be a lot more playable in a traditional radio format.
To me, “Mother’s Son,” “Caught You in Love” and “Something About” together contain the heart of the hybrid sound that This Time have been crafting for a few years now, and though “Something About” seems a little fractured (the only one of the three that does, I’d like to point out), it hints at something in the midst of becoming for this band that I would love to hear in its fully-conceived form. They’re not rushing anything here, and that’s going to be essential to their continued growth over the next couple of years.
“Runaway” is the most radio-ready song on Two and rightfully belongs as its key single, but I’m not sure that it was designed solely for the purposes of selling This Time’s music to the masses. There’s not much in the track that aligns with the watered-down commercial pop sound so many of us have come to associate with modern music, but it’s got the melodic moxie that pretty much all of us require when adding any song to a ‘Favorites’ playlist. This Time are a group steeped in dualities, and I really think that’s what makes them such a formidable entity in the Canadian lexicon.
Among all of the Canadian indie acts to watch right now, this band is topping a number of lists at the end of 2019 thanks to the heavy lifting they’ve done in Two, and they’re absolutely deserving of the attention. The pantheon of rock music is constantly changing and reshaping its figures with every passing decade, but if the 2020s are anything like the 2010s have been, it’s going to be an incredible time for underground players like these guys. This Time are living up to their handle here, and making sure they’re remembered as one of the more serious groups in their scene as the year comes to a close.