New Jersey quartet Can’t Swim have been riding high on plaudits and moderate success ever since releasing their debut EP ‘Death Deserves A Name’ back in 2016. Almost a year to the day later, and their debut full-length ‘Fail You Again’ soared even higher than its predecessor.
A year and a half of constant touring on both sides of the Atlantic later, and somehow the band have managed to put together their second record, ‘This Too Won’t Pass’.
Opening with ‘What Have We Done’, the mid-tempo track touches upon the sinister subjects that are ever present throughout the record, none more so than the use of the term ‘evil’, which is a prominent theme running through each and every song.
Following number ‘My Queen’, the record’s lead single, proves to be one of the most accessible and mainstream tracks on offer here, with a low-key chorus that will be favourite for live shows.
‘Sometimes You Meet The Right People At The Wrong Times’ provides a hark back to tracks featured on ‘Fail You Again’, with gang vocals interweaving with relatable lyricism and predominantly less harsh sounding vocals from lead singer, Chris LoPorto.
In a stark contrast to the heavier and darker sound that the album opens with, there’s some light relief in the form of ‘Hell In A Handbasket’. The radio-friendly track has a sun-soaked chorus that proves to be the best on the record, with a chorus that will deliver a mass sing-along at every venue they play for the foreseeable future.
Ending on ‘Winter Of Cicada’, the slow, melodic cut builds into a euphoric finish reminiscent of the ending of their first release in ‘Death Deserves A Name’. “How can I be sure it gets better? / I’ve written every word, every letter” serves as a reminder that grief manifests itself in everyone in some way. The record ends with three words, “Forever in regret”; a poignant reminder that mistakes only haunt us for as long as we let them.
The fact that Can’t Swim have found the time to record and release a record of this magnitude amidst such a hectic touring schedule and within tight time constraints is testament to the band’s ability and desire. Couple that with the fact that second album syndrome is a conundrum for any band, especially based off the back of such well-received predecessors, it’s nothing short of phenomenal.
‘This Too Won’t Pass’ is Can’t Swim‘s most cohesive, exciting, and downright best record to date, and, if there’s a little more time between this and the next one then it could be something truly special.