Last years Fail You Again was a peach! Now Can't Swim are swiftly back at it for round two with their sophomore record. They hit the ground running and kept going. Now there is a real contest between the two records because once again we have another solid set of songs you'll struggle to figure out your favorites from. This Too Won't Pass clearly steps in a brighter, pop direction with more tuneful singing and a generally lighter tone that can be heard in frequent acoustic guitar breaks and Emo, Pop Punk and Indie Rock strains in their sounds. It doesn't derive far from the blueprint at all and once again they challenge my conceptions of Genre's I'm less comfortable with as they pull off musical tropes with a touch of genuine class.
The record is wholly defined by its lyrical themes of breakups, heartaches and relationships. Chris LoPorto has a fantastic ability to channel his stories and musings into a catchy hook that resonates with the core of the song. It can be poetic, intelligent and blunt but more often a mix of all three. There is a fantastic chemistry at work, his words flow through the musical changes in temperament, always inline with the instrumental energy. Tracks like Amnesia 666 executes this with a stunning symmetry. Much like the instrumentals he exhausts a wonderful range of intensities with clean to screams consistently molding a unique persona for each track. The backup shouts and throaty yells of his band mates are not quite on his level. Bordering cringy at times but just about finding themselves on the right side of the line.
Much like their front man, his fellow musicians bring about a fantastic variety of intensity, color and charisma to flourish these themes into vivid visions with a ranged approach from the distortion guitars. They flex a whole range of chords, picking and strumming styles with varying degrees of overdrive that set distinct moods and compliment his words. The songs may have repetitive, simpler structures in places but the chemistry is so strong that each return of a riff or section feels as fresh as the play through before. The drummer also plays a key roll in fusing this all together with lively animated playing of grooves that flesh into the tom drums and livens up many of the chunky bass guitar grooves heard deeper in the mix.
For a record outside my comfort zone its quality really speaks volumes that the music transcends styles and themes I don't particularly vibe with. There are many objective moments where I heard something I wouldn't normally dig but these guys pull it off with true artistic intent and emotional meaning. Perhaps its just the open mind fighting old preconceptions. Either way I think it might be worth investigating more bands in this realm because if there are others as good as these guys I'm sold!
Favorite Tracks: My Queen, Hell In A Handbasket, Malicious 444, Amnesia 666, Winter Of Cicada