Review Summary: Finally, something different.
Can’t Swim is one of the more obscure additions to the Pure Noise lineup. Much like Movements, rumor has it the group was signed to the label without being seen live. Can’t Swim really have something going for them. The group even landed a supporting spot on a tour with Four Year Strong, another hot prospect in the pop-punk scene. Interpret that as you will, however, Can’t Swim looks to be accomplishing a lot in a short period of time. Fail You Again
was their breakthrough into the underground scene. The indie/punk fusion caught the attention of many critics, including myself, and made for a surprisingly good release in 2017. It’s safe to say I underestimated this album and enjoyed it a lot more than initially expected. Fail You Again
is a refreshing spin on the tired modern formula and shows there’s still life in the scene.
Making an album of this style is a bold move for a new act. Indie and punk are two completely different genres to tackle in one album. Punk requires very little to pull off since, after all, it’s supposed to be raw and brutal. Indie requires a lot of time in the studio, layers of instruments, and a ton of production. Fail You Again
hits the mark with both surprisingly well. ‘Quitting’ is the most indie this album gets. It enters with a light reverberated rhythm and is complemented by Chris LoPorto’s soft vocals. There isn’t as much going on in this song compares to others. It’s very simple in regards to instrumentation. It picks up during the bridge where we get a melodic section of “ooh’s.” The song that follows, ‘Hey Amy,’ treads into punk territory. I get a Jane’s Addiction vibe from this song. It picks up where ‘Quitting’ leaves off, but the vocals are rough and catchy during the verse. The transition between vocal styles is seamless. LoPorto’s crystal clear cleans leap to a gritty harsh onslaught in no time.
‘Molly’s Desk’ is the most impressive for me. It has both elements working together and blends indie and punk perfectly. The intro is moody and mysterious before diving into a banging verse. ‘What’s Your Big Idea"’ and ‘All the Moves We Make are In the Dark,’ the opening and closing tracks, are both excellent. They tie the album together and are total bangers. Especially in ‘All the Moves…’ when they shout, “You’re searching for truth/And it will fail you again,” bringing the theme to the surface. Some lyrics come across a little clunky in this album. ‘Stranger’ doesn’t have a nice flow to it, especially during the chorus. They way Can’t Swim tries to rhyme “stranger” with “closer” doesn’t work that well. Otherwise, there aren’t many problems with Fail You Again
I really enjoyed this album and recommend it to fans of While She Sleeps, Movements, and Senses Fail. The album works well considering its style. There are a lot of great tracks to revisit and it’s something different to explore. It’s among my favorite albums from 2017 and still find myself listening to it to this day. It’s hard to believe Can’t Swim didn’t land a spot on Warped Tour from this album. Recently the group debuted a couple bonus songs to check out, which I’ll list below. Although not perfect, Fail You Again
doesn’t try to be. It’s not a pretentious album by any means, nor does it try to be in your face with their new style. It’s a creative and captivating album, which is a lot to ask for nowadays. Especially since every group in their genre imitates each other, it’s hard to believe we have to praise bands for not trying to copy Blink-182.
What’s Your Big Idea"
We Won’t Sleep
All the Moves We Make are In the Dark