Album Review // CAN’T SWIM ‘This Too Won’t Pass’
Uncompromisingly raw, you’ll feel your heart ache with every word sung on this album as it explores the hardships of life.
New Jersey-based Can’t Swim are back with a heartbreaking sophomore album that shines a light on reality and its affiliated struggles through the power of music.
During the recording process, vocalist and guitarist Chris LoPorto found himself pondering the meaning of the word ‘evil’, and he explains: “Problems haunt you, infect you, and in time become a part of who you are. You might find ways to distract yourself or try and forget but every time you look in the mirror you’ll only see reminders of what you hate. Evil surrounds us and in time, becomes a part of who we are. Let this band be a reminder of that.”
What Have We Done? will make your heart pounding with its relentless questioning, hair-raising percussion and slamming guitars. Tormented vocals convey a powerless feeling, as Chris cries out “Help me, help me, there’s nowhere to run”. Bristling with barely-veiled anger and bitterness, the song transitions into hurt as it seamlessly flows into My Queen. It contrasts with the cut-neck tempo of the previous track and draws upon a more melodic side with poignant guitar lines as it details the feelings involved when a relationship breaks down.
Electric instrumental work takes centre stage on “sometimes you meet the right people at the wrong times”. Exploding with unpredictable rhythms and packing a punch with its power, you’ll be on the edge of your seat for the duration of this track, eagerly wondering what the band will throw at you next. Returning to a more pop-punk vein for Hell In A Handbasket, the soaring melody of the chorus almost seems to contrast against the profound lyricism. Delectable vocal harmonies are backed by a bass-dominant accompaniment in the verses to create rhythmic grooves for the listener to hook onto.
Painfully honest lyrics hit hard on Congratulations, Christopher Hodge as Chris laments on the passed time in the chorus, repeating “so long”. Guttural screams rip through in a short bridge, and although the duration isn’t long, it’s long enough to leave an impact on you and uncover all of the unspoken emotions that form up the track.
Malicious 444 sways between clean vocals and screams, utilised effectively in line with punchy instrumentals to deliver an uncompromising attack. The questions posed in the track are sure to resonate within you, and the ending sees the instrumentals dropping out to expose Chris declaring “It’s time for you to say goodbye”, before joining in for one final, resounding chord.
Kicking back up with Not The Way It Was, it’ll send shivers down your spine as hammering instrumentals combine with rousing vocals, and you’ll feel your blood rise as Chris yells “This is it boys, this is war”. A massive chorus thunders through as the harmonic rhythm slows down, creating an intense atmosphere that will come close to overwhelming you with its strength.
Amnesia 666 starts off gently, but it’s not long before frenetic instrumentals crash in and bring a driving dynamic edge. Daggers has a pleading undertone as Chris pines “Please don’t leave me hanging on”, and as it finishes off with Winter Of Cicada, it rounds off the emotional journey that you’re taken on with the album. Although the material doesn’t cover a lot of breadth, it does hone in on helping the band to create a distinct sound, and it’s sure to be a sound you want more of.