The Spill Canvas: Gestalt review

By on May 26, 2012

In terms of past releases, both One Fell Swoop and Sunsets & Car Crashes immediately stuck for me. After that, No Really, I’m Fine grew on me slowly, and new releases never stuck. So when I kicked in $10 to The Spill Canvas’ Kickstarter campaign my expectations were as neutral as possible.  Now, months later, it’s obvious that $10 was well worth it. These guys are proof that you can grow musically no matter how long you’ve been around.
Gestalt ebbs and flows easily from the mellow acoustic type tracks like the opening “Whiskey Dream Kathleen” to the huge rock songs like “The Meds” or “Chemicals”. In a way though, I wish that “Whiskey Dream Kathleen” was closer to the middle or end of the album, and that it opened with “Chemicals” because it has more of that energetic/kick things off feel. Either way, there’s fast and slow tracks, but in the usual Spill Canvas fashion, there’s some powerful mid-tempos – “To: Chicago” which features Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit), and “Off a Cliff” which is maybe most comparable to the old favorite “Bound To Happen” (One Fell Swoop). 
Two tracks in particular stand out on the album (though every song is pretty damn good). Thomas’ vocals are as strong as ever in “From: San Francisco”. Between his voice and the instrumentation I can easily see this becoming a single for them. Then you’ve got “Mariana” which is by far one of the grooviest songs this band has ever released. It’s got electronics in bits and pieces, but maintains that signature sound of theirs with some of the catchier riffs on the album.
This album has the customary ballad too (“My Vicinity”), so if you’re a long time fan of the band who’s grown used to the hushed track don’t you fear. It’s there. If you’ve never listened to The Spill Canvas, Gestalt is as good a place as any to start. You can listen to clips of it here:
RIYL: Valencia, Mayday Parade, Cartel
Track Listing:
1. Whiskey Dream Kathleen
2. Chemicals
3. Parallels and Money
4. From: San Francisco
5. To: Chicago
6. Off a Cliff
7. Firm Believer
8. The Meds
9. Mariana
10. My Vicinity
11. Sabotage Internal