Sunday, 9 April 2017

Can't Swim "Fail You Again" (2017)


 Picking something a little out of my field, New Jersey based Can't Swim's debut record has been just the right measure of styles for me to get behind. Alternative, Punk Rock with tinges of Emo, Grunge and Hardcore, the band is steadily rooted in scenes I'm less accustomed with yet its no stretch to understand this is great songwriting. Intelligent and expressive the band convey their message with no reliance in cheap tricks or tropes. Its an open, honest book on relationships and life's challenges that comes with a sense of working it out through the music, emotional, colorful and ripe.

The vocalist makes quite a mark with a strong, sung shout that strains and stretches, often with conviction and ferocity. At times he really pushes his range, putting an odd unhinged, off note charm into the mix that may turn off some. Its a great voice for a surprisingly rich and absorbing aesthetic, married to thoughtful compositions that do their part to flesh out what could be simplistic. The result, indulging songs, easy to get to grips with that have a lot of depth. On the surface one can appreciate the drummers creativity, shaking up the patterns on each repetition and steering the momentum of the music with fantastic fills and rhythms.

Digging deeper, the guitars flex between gentle and aggressive in easy harmony, layered with tones and coming at different measures of intensity, the variations from song to song keep the glass full from start to end. Edged out distortions and overdriven acoustics push back and forth as these songs rise and calm, forever unfolding. The band can go from big grooves to soft swooning melodics effortlessly, Its great song writing and they can load in great sing along hooks that give them a smart pop edge in some regards. I couldn't pick a favorite track, its as if no songs have a weak spot, not often you get a record that delivers from start to end, the constant shifting in tone really wets the water for the river to flow, creative, fun, meaningful record executed brilliantly.

Rating: 8/10

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