Today’s current wave of infectious pop-rock with an alternative flavor has offered up The Spill Canvas’ newest album, One Fell Swoop. Full of the likeable sounds so prevalent in today’s music industry, One Fell Swoop is still highly listenable, even if it does lack a certain spark that would have made the album unique.
This is the kind of album to listen to during a long road trip or while studying for finals-not for questioning the meaning of life.
The Spill Canvas’ Nick Thomas (vocals/guitar), Dan Ludeman (guitar/vocals), Scott McGuire (bass) and Joe Beck (drums) begin One Fell Swoop with “Lust a Prima Vista” and the album’s namesake.
The first lyric, “in one fell swoop it became clear to me / that I despise you entirely,” showcases the song’s theme about a dishonest girl who is just kept around for the sake of lust.
The next track, entitled “Staplegunned,” includes some graphic symbolism, with lyrics like “it was in the morning when I made up my mind / I want you staple-gunned right to my side / all of the time.”
“Polygraph, Right Now” has desperation-ridden lyrics, such as “fate is an elegant, cold-hearted whore / she loves salting my wounds / she enjoys nothing more,” over a catchy hook. A mellower sound is found in “The Dutch Courage,” with slight shades of the songs compiled on the Garden State soundtrack.
The Killers has “Believe Me Natalie;” The Spill Canvas has “Natalie Marie and 1cc.”
Instead of dance rock, however, it sounds like just about every other song on One Fell Swoop.
Next up is “Teleport: A B,” a song about wanting to teleport to your lover instead of waiting; “This Is For Keeps” is another soft song with lyrics like “the streets are dark, my pulse is flat lined / as I’m running to you.”
Himerus, the Greek personification of lust and sexual desire, and Eros, the god of love, make up the song title “Himerus and Eros.” This song is about strong desire, sex and relationships (a theme that runs throughout One Fell Swoop).
“Break a Leg” follows through with this relationship theme, as it tells of a boy who considers the girl he has been with as possessing a “poison kiss.”
He wants to get rid of her, and strongly says so with “I’m sick of you leading me on / I’m sick of you stringing me along / I do hereby swear, a bounty on your heart.”
“Secret Oath” is more of the same, with lyrics like “we’re murdering our lives, trying to make it work / but you and I both know that we are a lost cause.” The lyrics of “Valiant” include some unintentionally humorous ones like “I’m cutting ties with all the jealous zombies / I need to feel your warm body on me.”
After “Valiant,” there is “Bound to Happen,” where lyrics such as “although you’re sleeping right next to me / well, it feels like you are wide awake in a distant dream” are nearly whispered, building up to anger in “all my walking, talking, sleeping, breathing-nothing will ever be the same.”
The last track on One Fell Swoop is the best.
The lyrics are in the format of a conversation, almost like you are listening to a play: “she said, ‘are you crazy? You don’t even know me’ / I said, ‘I know, but I’d like to change that soon, hopefully.'” The acoustic guitar showcases Thomas’ emotive lyrics. If the whole album were like this, it would be stellar.
It is not, though, due to its repetitive themes and sound. One Fell Swoop is not bargain-bin material, but it is not mind-blowingly provocative either.
It is simply a likeable album in the crop of pop-rock so readily available these days.
The Spill Canvas will play Axis on Friday, Mar. 31, with support from Straylight Run and The Exit.