Bands have a lot of pressure when they release their debut album, especially when they’re following up an EP that’s as good as ‘Death Deserves A Name’ was last year. Despite their short career to date, Can’t Swim ooze experience with a record full of clever, insightful post-hardcore tracks mixed within emo influenced pop-rock that make for a well balanced and daring record.
‘Fail You Again’ is a debut to reckon with that sees Can’t Swim musically expand from their introduction in 2016, yet maintain that gritty and smutty feel of a garage band that are pissed off about everything they can possibly get their fists around.
Can’t Swim have the technical ability and resource within three six-string guitars that they can produce a spectrum of genre outputs, and always ice the cake with the chalk on a blackboard star vocals of Chris LoPorto and it will fit into the jigsaw that is ‘Fail You Again’.
‘$50,000,000’ has a harmless intro that sounds like a clothing catalogue advert, but the pure force of that deep voice of LoPorto marks the song with a big fat Can’t Swim stamp of approval. The calmness of his vocals during the bridge enhances the impact of the end of the song when the guitars all hit at the same time. The singer does give his throat a rest during ‘Quitting’ that puts the spotlight on the vocals, whereas the bass heavy ‘All The Moves We Make Are In The Dark’ has a graveyard gothic feel about it, and even sounds like Billy Talent at times before almost breaking into a hardcore breakdown at the end.
After lead single ‘Stranger’ was introduced to the world back at the end of the year, it became clear that Can’t Swim had the capability to write some unfathomably catchy choruses, and that potential became a reality on ‘Fail You Again’ with the crowd controlling ‘One Shot’, and the pop-rock ‘Friend’ where the latter is such a good feeling uplifting happy song that has melancholic lyrics for the ideal juxtaposition.
The ability to be as menacing as they are friendly is so exciting for Can’t Swim. ‘What’s Your Big Idea?’ is a fast punk song that veers in every direction it possibly can, just as if they’re trying to show off that they can ace anything they try their hand out. Can’t Swim are melodic, aggressive, and undeniably likeable at the same time, and that’s one hell of a feat for such a new band.
‘Fail You Again’ is well worth the time to get into, and it’s only pointing out the potential that the future will hold for the New Jersey five-piece.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)