Like many emo-pop frontman, Nick Thomas writes songs that are short, to the point, and almost relentlessly tuneful. It’s a tried-and-true formula, but too much melodic treacle can have its downside, and some of the Spill Canvas’ previous albums suffered from sugar overload during their final minutes. Realities is succinct, though, comprised of five quick tracks that show up, unveil their hooks, and make a quick exit before wearing out their outcome. Thomas’ voice may have the same quick vibrato once championed by Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas, but his music is more indebted to the Warped Tour and Fueled by Ramen scenes, where singalong choruses and layers of pristine guitar are the name of the game. There are no covers here -- the Spill Canvas got that out of their system during the Denial Feels So Good EP -- so the emphasis rests on Thomas’ original material, from the minor-key meteorological metaphor of “Dust Storm” to the power-popping “Let Go,” where co-ed harmonies set the stage for a tongue-in-cheek spoken word bridge. The guys sound like they’re genuinely having fun throughout, and a lack of pretense helps ensure that those listening can have fun, too.
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