Review Summary: A relatively short experience though incredibly cohesive.
Can't Swim has never really been a band that I was ever interested in; their debut album, "Fail You Again", and while different for the scene it was popular with, did not interest me that much and I let it sink back into the back of my mind for a while. But then, unexpectedly, this record showed up on Spotify and I thought "Well, why not?" I don't think I've been so pleasantly surprised in a while.
This Too Won't Pass is a record with a heavy, somber but self-aware tone present throughout each and every song. The lead singer's vocals range from being almost haunting to being so desperate it's heartbreaking (primarily in songs like "My Queen" and "Amnesia 666"). His voice is certainly unique and while this was present on their debut record they never really hit full force and reach deep when put together with his improved lyricism about loneliness and a failed relationship.
The instrumentation goes right along with his voice. It goes from setting a mood only fit for this season with slow drums and a steady guitar in the background, some being more fast paced and hard hitting with screamed vocals and sped up bass ("Not the Way It Was"). The album never comes off as jarring when a new song begins, it all definitely feels as if Can't Swim have mastered their own sound.
While most of the songs on this record fit with each other, they can certainly stand on their own and it never feels as if it falls into complacency. The short length of the record is more of a disappointing "aw, there isn't more..." than a con, because it all fits very tightly into one package.
It all shares the same tones when the album first begins with "What Have We Done?" and carries itself through the motions of the songwriter's mind while he speaks of the trials he's experienced in his recent years.
Can't Swim have definitely put out a massive improvement over "Fail You Again" which shows off mature song-writing in both lyricism and instrumentation, never once falling to basic lyrical cliches aside from a line or two. "This Too Won't Pass" is truly worth of being called a magnum opus.
What Have We Done
Hell in a Handbasket
Winter of Cicada