It’s been a little over a year since their signing to Pure Noise Records, and alternative rock five-piece Can’t Swim has never sounded this good. Their debut EP, Death Deserves a Name, set the bar incredibly high for them both lyrically and sonically, and I’m sure it made everyone (including myself) anticipate more and more from the group. Thankfully, they delivered. Their upcoming album, titled Fail You Again, knocks the aforementioned EP right out of the park.
The record gets you moving and singing from the first song to the last. Tracks like “What’s Your Big Idea,” “One Shot,” and the two released singles, “Stranger” and “We Wont Sleep,” all incorporate what we know and love of Can’t Swim so far. They’re full of catchy lyrics and choruses like “you’ve only got one shot / you’ll never have to spend the night alone,” on top of loud and creative drum fills and groovy hard-hitting riffs… And I can’t forget to mention Chris LoPorto’s gritty and raw vocals that draw you in instantly.
Fail You Again also features the more harmonious side of Can’t Swim that we were exposed to in Death Deserves a Name. Songs like “Quitting” and “Show Me” feature soft and moody guitar and bass tones, accompanied by ambient and mellow vocals.
In contrast, “All The Moves We Make Are in the Dark,” my personal favorite, gives us a successful blend of the upbeat vibes with the more soothing melodies. To top it off, this song brings light to the lyrically staggering side of Can’t Swim, with Chris singing, “Are my hands too weak / to break the ties you made? / One day you’ll see / the choice you made.” As the album’s coda, its words truly tie the record together as a whole, and this is especially notable towards the chant-like delivery of “You’re searching for truth / and it will fail you again.” Here, Can’t Swim exhibit the perfect equilibrium of aggression and harmony, which encompasses the overall tone of the record.
While I do wish they incorporated more songs with soft vocals and clean guitar tones in the vein of “Quitting” and “Death Deserves a Name,” I’m sure there’s a reason for this, given the lyrical content of the album. Evidently, Can’t Swim know what they’re doing here. Fail You Again exceeded all expectations I had for the band, and I can’t wait to hear what they create in the future. In the meantime, I’ll have Fail You Again on repeat. Get the album on March 10th and do the same–you won’t regret it.
REVIEW BY ANA MASSARD