I’m going to be honest, prior to listening to Fail You Again, I had not heard of Can’t Swim. In reading up on the band, it’s no surprise they flew completely under my radar, considering they were signed to Pure Noise Records prior to ever playing their first show…or having more than one member. Can’t Swim’s first EP Death Deserves a Name was written entirely by vocalist/guitarist Chris LoPorto in 2016 prior to having any other members, making it it an extremely phenomenal feat in terms of a first outing. But this time around they are blazing out of the gate with Fail You Again, that is set to take Can’t Swim to new heights and project them further than they’ve ever gone before.

Fail You Again, covers such a wide variety of sub-genres that it’s impossible to place it in a single category. Unlike Death Deserves a Name, Fail You Again was a collective effort from all members, which would definitely explain the sonic variety it offers. In a recent interview, Chris LoPorto commented on the writing process, “Writing the first release by myself seems now like a foreign language, I couldn’t imagine making music without Can’t Swim. I wouldn’t want to. Everyone’s personalities and opinions really shape what our songs sound like, and it’s very special to be a part of. I listen back to our new record and it sounds like a band, a team, and that’s something I always wanted.”

Can’t Swim don’t waste any time by completely pummeling you with their album opener, “What’s Your Big Idea?”, which is easily the heaviest track on the album. Transitioning from such an in your face track to the softer, “We Won’t Sleep”, at first seems like an odd choice. It came off a little disjointed, then the chorus kicked in and I didn’t care anymore. If there’s one thing Fail You Again absolutely succeeds at, it is its ability pull you in and make you want to sing along with every single hook.

While some tracks on the album like “$50,000,000”, “Hey Amy”, and “Show Me” might come off as being too derivative of the bands obvious influences, you simply can’t deny the lyrical prowess & raw emotion LoPorto manages to exude in every track. “Stranger” is easily the standout track on Fail You Again. It’s also one of the most diverse tracks, starting with a melancholic tone and perfectly building until LoPorto erupts into the powerful chorus. Other standout tracks on the album include “Friend”, “Kid” and “Molly’s Desk”.

While this album is not perfect, it is one of the most solid debut albums that comes to recent memory. Even though Fail You Again might not seem completely original at times, it’s completely unwavering in authenticity and raw emotion. I haven’t had the chance to see the band live yet, but Can’t Swim definitely come across as a band whose music is only amplified by their live performance.

The band is currently supporting Four Year Strong on their mostly sold out ‘Rise Or Die Trying’ 10th Anniversary Tour, so if tickets are still available near you, go check out Can’t Swim and pick up a copy of Fail You Again while you’re at it!