Can’t swim are an upcoming rock band from New Jersey, and one that everyone should be excited about. Their first full-length album, Fail You Again, is the follow-up to EP Death Deserves A Name and will be released through Pure Noise Records. Death Deserves A Name was a record packed with energy from start to finish and thankfully that was not lost with this album. Fail You Again has an interesting mix of hard rock and pop punk elements much in the same way it’s predecessor did, yet this time around it sounds a little less confused and a little more polished. The past year has certainly seen an improvement in their sound as the band seem to be finding their feet.
An immediate standout with Can’t Swim is the raw vocal sound of lead singer Chris LoPorto. Opening track ‘What’s Your Big Idea’ exhibits the raspy edge his voice has that is always well suited to rock music, and makes his transitions from delicate melodic lines to more aggressive ones smoother. LoPorto’s clean vocals aren’t bad either, as he shows most impressively in fifth song, ‘Quitting’. The band are quite lyrically talented as well; each song displays a new level of reminiscent love and/or heartbreak. ‘Kid’ is arguably the most uplifting song on the album, with lines such as “you have to hit rock bottom before you open your eyes” working to show the different emotional stages of a break-up. At this early stage where the band’s sound is still a little rough, it works in their favour to have those vocal abilities and emotive lyrics on hand.
That rougher sound is not always a negative, however. The wonderful thing about new bands like Can’t Swim is the lack of pressure to sound too polished. Here is a record that has been entirely written and recorded by the band, which means that no, it doesn’t sound perfect. But it does sound authentic. Fail You Again is refreshing to listen to in an age where rock music is starting to sound more factory-made and less like a bunch of musicians just enjoying themselves. This is especially notable with Can’t Swim’s music as it is so focused on romantic love – it makes the album sound more genuine as a whole.
The past year has seen a long list of bands silencing the cynics that claim rock and metal are on their way out, and now Can’t Swim can add themselves to that line-up. This band are definitely one to keep an eye on as Fail You Again signifies the start of their climb.