The Spill Canvas

No Really, I\'m Fine

Written by: DY on 29/12/2007 18:10:56

\"No Really, I\'m Fine\" sees The Spill Canvas return to follow up 2005\'s \"One Fell Swoop\" with their fourth full length album. Once again utilizing their tried and tested alternative / pop rock formula, the band create a simple but catchy group of songs full of emotional lyrics dealing with relationships, integrity and the mystery of love, war and gravity. The album will push all the right buttons for previous fans of the band and will surely win new fans as it soars the radio airwaves over the coming months.

Vocalist Nick Thomas certainly wasn\'t in the best of moods when he was penning the album\'s first song \"Reckless Abandonment\" in which he lets you know the band\'s intentions when making the record. The words \"We don\'t believe in anything that these critics, they\'re writing in their magazines...I\'m not concerned with pleasing all those little pricks and all their little scenes\" are delivered with such an attitude that you can tell he\'s not joking around and is seriously hacked off. The rest of the album however, plays in a less aggressive tone, with the exception of \"Bleed, Everyone\'s Doing It\" where Thomas vents his frustrations with the racial, political and religious divisions that pull apart the world today and calls for a million strong rebel army to throw out our differences and understand that \"everybody bleeds the same\". It\'s one of many songs where you can see Thomas\' songwriting talents and also boasts guest vocals from none other than ex-Saosin and current Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green.

The songs themselves are short, 12 of them clocking in at around 45 minutes in total. But they are punchy and achieve what they set out to do. Despite their obvious radio friendly style, they still feature some exciting guitar riffs and occasionally move towards the heavier limits of the alternative rock spectrum. The album maintains a pacey tempo throughout, with the exception of the two slower songs, \"Connect The Dots\" and the acoustic \"Lullaby\".

With \"All Over You\" having already taken the title of first single, \"Hush Hush\" has got to be a strong runner for the second one. It\'s got everything needed for it to be a hit; the catchy chorus, the polished power chords and the singalong lyrics about a broken relationship. Unfortunately the masses aren\'t too hard to please and while it has the characteristics of a radio hit, it also relegates the band to the lower level of countless other cheesy pop rock bands.

Thankfully, Thomas corrects his mistake in \"Appreciation And The Bomb\", a lyrically touching track where he praises and attacks the support and lack of support he\'s been given from people and stresses the importance of appreciating life. One of the albums highlights, \"Low Fidelity\", introduces some trumpets to the mix, in a style similar to that which we heard on this year\'s album from The Used. It gives the song a sense of fullness and causes it to stand out among the rest of the album. It\'s certainly a style well worth pursuing in future songs that the band write for forthcoming albums. The song also suggests Thomas has drawn influence from Coheed & Cambria\'s Claudio Sanchez\' vocal style as the similarities are abundant. The album closes with \"Lullaby\", a decent and heartfelt ballad, although I think the band would have done better to go out on a more energetic note.

The Spill Canvas has succeeded in making a great album with \"No Really, I\'m Fine\", but somehow it lacks the hook which would have had me back and listening again and again having finished writing this review. Its strengths certainly lie in its honesty and the belief Thomas has in his lyrics and vocal delivery. It\'s a solid album musically, as you would expect from a band working together on their fourth album, but it\'s far from daring. When it does venture outside the box (\"Low Fidelity\") it impresses, and thus I\'d like to see them push the boat out a bit further on their next record. Simple but genuine.


Download: Low Fidelity, The Truth, Reckless Abandonment
For The Fans Of: The Starting Line, Dashboard Confessional, Something Corporate, 3 Doors Down
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release Date 02.10.2007
Sire Records

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