ARTIST: CAN’T SWIM
TITLE: FOREIGN LANGUAGE
LABEL: PURE NOISE RECORDS
WORDS: ROB KENT
New Jesery Rock outfit Can’t Swim have returned with their input to 2019, following up last years full length with a six track EP. The band have gifted us six songs that are their heaviest to date and with four guest vocal features and experimental angsty punk energy throughout, reaching a whole new potential for themselves while at the same time being utterly lifeless.
This EP primarily has a political lyrical focus, a side we have not particularly seen from Can’t Swim. Taking the writing away from the emo and pop punk styles of the past, the band have now taken on full throttle punk agenda which they do very well – the guitars sound great on this; thick and prominent, giving an energy which is much needed over the lyrical content. The vocals are also varied nicely; the higher focus on screams and shouts complement the sections of soaring layered singing and break up sections very tastefully. All four of the guest features also sound great, all four being huge names in the post hardcore and punk world. The band use the singers to their strengths, appropriately and each song is truly complemented with each feature.
“brave, broad, dynamic and very interesting”
However, while this EP is good and packs a punch, it is almost on the verge of being very valueless, and indifferent from every other band that has used political lyrics. Musically some of the sections are very bland too. The choruses and vocal shouts are unimaginative at times with closing track “Prick” really highlighting this, lazy second class lyrics and nothing catchy at all on this song really lets the EP down. Furthermore these elements can been seen in every song, with some sections sounding huge and incredibly catchy, while transitioning in to breaks and versus that are useless and almost cringe worthy.
The band have stuck to theme with political elements all the way through and they do create a concept on this release, producing a piece of art with a voice. Can’t Swim have also opened new doors for themselves and have shown versatility in their song writing and lyrical content. Although they’re better as a emo rock band than they are an illustrative punk band, this EP is brave, broad, dynamic and very interesting.