The Spill Canvas - 'One Fell Swoop'

One Fell Swoop
Release Date: August 9, 2005
111 Records | buy now


One Fell Swoop, the latest by The Spill Canvas, offers a dark and grim album, with even the most pain-ridden tracks coming off as seemingly painful. The most evident of the grimness of the album are exemplified in tracks such as “Polygraph, Right Now” and “The Dutch Courage.” Both of these tracks, heard early on in the album, deal with a hopelessness and a helplessness that would make even the most optimistic of individuals find themselves in great doubt. With lyrics such as “Fate is an elegant, cold-hearted whore. She loves salting my wounds, yes, she enjoys nothing more” and “I am utterly disgusted with the path you trek, As inebriated as you can get off your latest pay check. I am at a loss for words here. I hate to break this to you but being a coward is not a legitimate career,” it would seem that one would be hard pressed to give this CD a listen on any day other than a rainy one.

However, while there is no defense to be made in regards to the troubling sentiment that is quite obviously at hand here, it is this same sentiment that is used to create quite a few beautiful romances, epic even to an extent. “This Is For Keeps,” which ironically is one of the more devotional songs while also being one of the darkest tracks of the album, has what seems to be a vampire, who is in love with a human, approach her with hopes that she’d be willing to spend eternity as lovers together, in the process becoming a vampire herself, with the lines, “Eternity will never be enough for me, and eternally will live our infallible love” being sung passionately throughout the track.

Coincidentally, the final track of the album, “Self-Conclusion” also happens to create the unconventional dark, yet devotional mix. On what is referred to as “the edge of the earth,” a conflict occurs between two strangers, where one arrives with the intent of throwing herself from this edge, and letting go of the troubles she’s dealt with to that point. Only, as she gives word of her plans to the man she finds there before her, he goes on to pour everything in him out in attempts of possibly finding a reason to continue on. “Yeah we all flirt with the tiniest notion, of self conclusion in one simplified motion. You see the trick is that you’re never supposed to act on it, no matter how unbearable this misery gets” is the message that is given in regards to the troubles that may seem too great to overcome. What takes place in the most unpleasant of potential circumstances turns into a great love story that shall unfold with a careful and attentive listen.

Dark by obvious nature, One Fell Swoop contains so much more beneath its morbid surface. While accomplished in a most unique manner, there are messages of hope and reason to believe in a greater love. Artistically concealed, these heartfelt messages hit hard once they are realized.

Standout Tracks: “This Is For Keeps”, “Self-Conclusion”, “Valiant”, “The Dutch Courage”.

– Christopher Griffin