EP Review: Can’t Swim – Someone Who Isn’t Me

Emo pop, post-punk and alternative rock are just some of the tags thrown at Can’t Swim yet, like some shapeshifting alien, they’ve avoided easy categorisation. Truth is they’re all these and more as they evolve over Someone Who Isn’t Me in kaleidoscopic fashion and reveal new facets whilst retaining their hypnotic sound.

With an unrivalled work ethic (releasing 2 albums and 4 EP’s in 5 years) the aptly titled Can’t Swim have charted a unique course through the choppy waters of alternative rock. Opening to a wall of glorious feedback that’s punctuated by huge white spaces “Someone Who Isn’t You” is a discombobulating affair that often throws the listener in a loop. It’s the same Can’t Swim only different: there’s that ever present, defiant melancholy but the band toss in some choice samples over a slow dance beat and tether it to earth with a huge weight.

A mixture of old and new Glassjaw is “Who’s Happy”, a track that swirls around the listener and, like an anchor tied to a drowning man, drags the listener down to delirious depths. But just when you’re fully immersed vocalist Chris LoPorto steps outside the song in a moment of existentialism and throws cold water in your face. This is an EP that’s definitely going to confuse some of their fans but if you know Can’t Swim at all then you should always expect the unexpected.

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Hailing from Keansburg, New Jersey there’s a discernable Springsteen influence in Can’t Swim’s lyricism, it’s a no-nonsense approach that finds LoPorto opening his psyche and each of these 5 tracks feels like attending group therapy. However, for all their soul searching there’s something intangibly life affirming that bubbles to the surface as Chris delivers each word with undiluted passion. The acoustic “Tiny Hands” finds the band on more familiar ground and closes the EP in rather whimsical fashion and we can only guess what their next move will be.

One of those rarefied bands (like PiL or Killing Joke) who constantly change style yet remain easily identifiable Can’t Swim are sure to alienate some fans by employing elements of rap and electronica but Someone Who Isn’t Me is strong enough to attract many more disciples.

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Someone Who Isn’t Me is released via Pure Noise Records on 4th December 2020

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