Releasing their first full-length album can be a struggle for new bands. There is a certain tone that must be set. For Can’t Swim, they have absolutely no problem doing just that.
Coming off their release of the E.P. “Death Deserves a Name” last year, we were all waiting patiently for new music from the post-hardcore outfit. “Fail You Again” is the album that hits the ground running and is as fun as it is infectious.
Based out of Keansburg, New Jersey, Can’t Swim are newcomers to the scene and already have been making a name for themselves. Founded by frontman Chris LoPorto in 2015, the band gained traction quickly. They were signed to Pure Noise Records before the end of 2015. “Death Deserves a Name” garnered a lot of attention in how strong the songwriting and the musical level in general was. That landed them spots touring with bands like Four Year Strong, Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties, Moose Blood and more. Can’t Swim has had everything going for them and, after gaining a new drummer, they released their debut album just over a year after “Death Deserves a Name.”
“Fail You Again” is a 12-track record that clocks in at around 40 minutes in length. From front to back, this is a pretty solid record. Right from the start you know exactly what you are getting into and that just keeps going for the entire record. Melodies that you will be singing along to are not hard to find. The album has its own unique sound. This is in large part thanks to LoPorto’s unique, nasally voice. It is not hard to find a track that you can connect with on some level.
Musically, we are starting to see Can’t Swim develop more as musicians, which is exactly what you want with a debut album. Starting us out is “What’s Your Big Idea?” This song gives us the classic Can’t Swim sound: rhythms are infectious, there is a surprising amount of depth to the track and the harmonies are crisp and clear. On a technical level, tracks like “Quitting,” “One Shot” and “Molly’s Desk” are incredibly well produced. There is always energy in this album and it never stops. It takes you on a ride from start to finish as you listen through its entirety.
Lyrically, LoPorto shows off some of his best as a songwriter. We hear a much more self-loathing tone with this record than we did with the E.P. tracks like “We Won’t Sleep,” “Friend” and “Show Me” have a heart-on-the-sleeve kind of vibe. That works well for the record because most of the songs do not come off as too whiny. We get the sense that this record is more on the offensive with the subject matter, which is very apparent with tracks like “Kid” and “$50,000,000.” While some of the tracks might sound a little rough around the edges, it certainly is because Can’t Swim is starting to define and refine their sound.
Should you listen to it?: Yes.
As far as debuts are concerned, this is how you release a first full-length record. Can’t Swim has no trouble being loud and in your face. While this is a new band in the scene, they have started off on the right foot and have more than proven why they have come so far in a short amount of time. This is a band you should keep an eye on in the future; they will not have much trouble staying on top.