ARTIST: CAN’T SWIM
TITLE: THIS TOO WON’T PASS
LABEL: PURE NOISE RECORDS
WORDS: JACK MOBLEY
Can’t Swim have come out of nowhere to become one of the most exciting, diverse and passionate alternative rock bands in the scene right now! Rewind to 2016, an unknown band from New Jersey release an EP called Death Deserves A Name which gets picked up by Pure Noise Records leading to a record deal and multiple high-profile tours with the likes of Boston Manor, Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong and Real Friends. The debut album, Fail You Again, was a collection of songs that cemented the band’s sound, creating a melting pot of 00’s emo, alternative rock and sprinkling of post hardcore. But that still wasn’t enough as the 5-piece released a series of B-sides from the recording process, quickly building up a back catalogue of songs. Fast forward to the present, Can’t Swim are back again with their sophomore record, This Soon Won’t Pass, a record that builds on the potential that was always apparent while experimenting and building on elements that weren’t quite fleshed out on Fail You Again.
Lead singer and guitarist, Chris LoPorto uses the concept of evil and channels it into the record. Not only personal malevolence that he has experienced, but society as whole as the many facets of evil seep into the album: fear, anger, anxiety, hate, and failure. LoPorto has expanded on the concept and impact of evil, that we might try to distance ourselves from evil but, “Evil surrounds us and in time, becomes a part of who we are. Let this band be a reminder of that.
“one of the most exciting, diverse and passionate alternative rock bands in the scene right now”
Opener, ‘What Have We Done’, has LoPorto’s raspy, earnest vocal hit before the shouty-post-hardcore vocals interrupt and provide a new level of rawness that has been improved upon since the last record. And here is where we are introduced evil on the record which is continued throughout. ‘My Queen’ demonstrates the incredibly catchy element with the smooth delivery of “If ignorance is bliss, then why did you ask?”.
The Alkaline Trio style on the single, ‘sometimes you meet people at the wrong times’ is big, frantic and dark. All things that suite the emo sound, backed by alt-rock, tendencies superbly. The experience is showing through on this album, as the song writing has improved from Fail You Again by being more melodic and diverse. LoPorto’s lyrics have a potent impact through his rhyming that leads beautifully from one line to the other.
“‘This Too Won’t Pass’ is a gaze into a malice subject, one that effects many different areas of life and Can’t Swim have captured a screenshot of evil in their dark tone.”
The catchy layered verses of ‘Malicious 444’ delves deeper into the idea of evil and the lack of compassion that surrounds us and during the bridge especially, ‘hope is nothing but a virus that keeps us in check / Hate is nothing but a prison that hangs around your neck’. ‘Not The Way It Was’ quickly comes through with varied tempos and a trudging chorus that provides the bands commentary on society and the impact of the news on the wider public’s beliefs. The closing track, ‘Winter Of Cicada’, slows the tempo down showcasing LoPorto’s intimate side. The final moments of the album have the looming drums and bass stop before Loporto’s raw reprise of ‘Forever in regret’.
‘This Too Won’t Pass’ is a gaze into a malice subject, one that effects many different areas of life and Can’t Swim have captured a screenshot of evil in their dark tone. The bands meld of alternative rock that is cemented in early emo has been a masterstroke. This is an album that can be relatable, raw, yet refined as they have moved on from their previous work. A firm step in the right direction, Can’t Swim have created a record that is both rich in melody but moody in it’s aesthetic and that is a crowning achievement.