Following on from their 2016 EP Death Deserves a Name, Can’t Swim have announced news regarding their upcoming debut album Fail You Again which is set to be released on March 10th. However, Pure Noise Records kept fans afloat after distributing the heavily anticipated track list via YouTube a week in advance. Album details and UK tour dates can be found in this earlier post.
Fail You Again truly is a revolutionary album. Since music is an art form, it goes without saying that each listener is bound to interpret the range of vocal tones and lyrical content differently through subliminal hidden messages in each song – something that I find to be empowering. It focuses on factors such as vulnerability, reflection, compassion, growth and demonstrates the ways in which you can change yourself for the better especially when you’re placed in negative situations with old acquaintances, your past self and/or former relationships. It is jam-packed with anticipation and is constructed adroitly, despite it being Can’t Swim’s first album.
Although branding themselves as an alternative rock band, there are other underlying elements incorporated within their still to be refined sound e.g. indie, grunge, emo and pop punk thus enabling the transparent five-piece to bring something refreshing to the table every time. Before hearing “We Won’t Sleep”, I was oblivious as to who these guys were. Funnily enough, by the end of the album, I was – to put it in simpler terms – lost for words. I feel as though it is rare to stumble upon a musical act that possesses the ability to subconsciously pep talk you into letting down your guard and bring repressed feelings to the surface. Perhaps, the name Can’t Swim symbolises music as being the anchor that is keeping Chris LoPorto from drowning.
Fail You Again unfolds with their upbeat introductory track, “What’s Your Big Idea.” This little number consists of melodic drumming, rhythmic guitar action and is topped with gritty vocals that set the initial mood in place from the get-go. In the music industry, artists act as a mentor and this song is a solid representation of that. Upon first listen, I was confused as to why the instrumentals sounded positive whilst the lyrics sounded misplaced until I listened to it the whole way through e.g. “Cause they’ve got time to kill. And they’ve got blood to spill.” It feels as though the person in question is analysing the attitudes of those around them especially those who choose to run away from their problems instead of facing them, therefore, they are not rectifying the errors of their ways e.g. “Time waits for no one. And you’ll never get it back.”
“Friend” is a song that hits close to home, I interpreted it as the vocalist investing his time into someone who didn’t give back the same amount of effort. I can only presume this is a track that most people will be able to relate to. He is coming to grips with the fact that someone he regarded as a friend isn’t who they were portraying themselves to be and were only using him for their own personal gain. With vocals, Chris’ emotions shine through and take centre stage whilst the instrumentals withhold a sense of optimism. The lyrics that stand out are “And you’re gone to go be someone else. To find it all out. To do it yourself.” For me, this puts things into perspective. It symbolises the idea that you shouldn’t take people who care enough about you for granted otherwise karma will leave you fending for yourself. The song takes an unusual turn and highlights the fact that the vocalist still treasures the memories that were shared, he misses the person he used to know and part of him wishes they have changed so they can rekindle their past friendship e.g. “Tell me it’s over and done with. And we’ll sit back and laugh.”
As much as I would jump at the chance to give a full in depth analysis of each song, this is solely my understanding of some of the songs within this album without giving too much away. All I will say is that there are some hidden gems that you certainly won’t want to miss! I’m intrigued to see how the group will adapt further on in the future and I will be keeping tabs on their work in the hopes that they bring out some covers. If you’re seeking new material to listen to then don’t be afraid to branch out and give them a shot. I’m giving it a 4.5 out of 5!
Fail You Again is out on March 10th