Bitterly introspective – Can’t Swim’s second album is a damning reminder that life isn’t going to get any easier.
A band with less than typical beginnings, Can’t Swim have always been applauded for being unapologetically and arguably unconventionally transparent in their approach towards life’s tougher topics. With the face of vocalist Chris LoPorto’s ex-girlfriend being the flagship marketing point of previous campaigns, it’s hard to imagine that this band could be any more unflinching in their craft. This Too Won’t Pass takes the commonly comforting adage and shatters it. According to LoPorto, things aren’t going to get better.
The album’s first single, My Queen, feels its way through sweeping verses before launching into a stellar chorus. Lyrically impressive, the repeating “it still haunts me” in the post-chorus hammers home the overarching message of the album in a way that is unmistakable. LoPorto’s interrogative lyrics hit the hardest. “If ignorance is bliss then why’d you ask?”. In Hell In A Handbasket, he poses “does anyone remember the ones in second place?”. We are challenged with questions to which we might not like the answer.
You would be forgiven in thinking that this album is all doom and gloom because it is. Entirely so in the subject matter, however, sonically there are plenty of moments that offer respite from the album’s downbeat messages. Malicious 444 and Amnesia 666 both boast electrifying choruses. Cleverly placed between those two tracks on the record is Not The Way It Was – a song that carries at a blistering pace before gorgeously swooping into a more measured chorus. Additionally, there are ‘heavier’ elements on offer here that we hadn’t really been treated to in previous releases from the band. What Have We Done and Congratulations, Christopher Hodge have particularly gritty moments which always makes for an exhilarating listen.
Undoubtedly, the most impressive aspect of this album is what was alluded to at the start of this review. The notion that Can’t Swim, by default, are authentic to the core. Sometimes you meet the right people at the wrong time is the line that was left on the back of a photograph that was given to LoPorto by his ex-girlfriend at the end of their relationship. The raw integrity that this demonstrates is something that is missing in a criminal amount of music that we listen to today. Although this album can be challenging and difficult to digest at times, it’s real.
This Too Won’t Pass is released on 16th November through Pure Noise Records. Pre-order the album here.