Picking up where last year’s excellent ‘Death Deserves A Name’ EP left off, Can’t Swim’s debut album finds them in caustic, heart-on-sleeve territory.
Frontman (and former Trash Talk drummer) Chris LoPorto remains on similarly combative form here, too. With his distinctive nasal tone, he takes aim at the world and those who have wronged him: friends, former lovers, lady luck and many more besides.
In the end though, these attacks always circle back to the self-loathing that permeates every second of this record. As much as Chris finds plenty to despair of in the outside world, it’s his internal monologue that seems to trouble him the most.
Fortunately these reflections never feel too self-indulgent, as they’re dished out – in the main, at least – over pleasingly chunky riffs and choruses that, while rough ‘n’ ready, ably weave their way into your memory.
But perhaps the best thing about this album is the sense that Can’t Swim are still refining their sound – and have several gears to go through in the near future. If they can combine the desperate urgency demonstrated on that first EP (which is a little diminished here) with the more finely-crafted songwriting they’re moving towards, they will be swimming onward, rather than sinking, for a long while to come.