CAN'T SWIM, SO THEY DROWNED

New Jersey-based band started with great potential, only to go downhill

By Peter R. Clark   Travel Editor

Can’t Swim is a rock band from Keansburg, New Jersey. Late last year they released their first song called “Your Clothes.” It’s a great song that shows inspiration from melodic hardcore bands, post-hardcore, and a bit of pop-punk. It has a driving bass line, vocals that have an impact, and lyrics that I tend to agree with. It is what you might call “a perfect song,” and because it is such a great song, I was really amped for their EP to be released.

When their EP, “Death Deserves a Name,” was released on Feb. 27, I listened to it as soon as possible, excited to see what the other four songs were like. After listening to the EP, I was disappointed because none of the songs are like “Your Clothes.” They don’t employ the same intensity or melodic hardcore influence that “Your Clothes” has, because it’s all standard rock fare with emo-like vocals. It was a huge let down. I still like “Your Clothes,” but I really don’t see the point of listening to the remainder of the album. 

It’s disappointing to see a band with such a good song and potential fall apart. It’s a shame that “Your Clothes” seems like a completely different band, and it seems from the album, there is really no sign that they will have any other similar songs. From listening to the album, odds are against that notion, 4-to-1. The rest of the four songs on the album sound as if they were written and performed by completely different people. At one point, I had to stop and to see if this was a split EP. It wasn’t, it just sucked.

My suggestion to future bands is: if you’re going to release a song and have a certain style, stick with it. Don’t release your EP and have your strongest song be the “teaser” song because it’s a letdown for everyone involved: you, your fans, and your stakeholders. 

Can’t Swim is a band that had so much going for them, but they blew it. Perhaps in the future I won’t get so excited for a band. Maybe it isn’t just me though, maybe bands should adhere to a certain standard. But who I am to make such claims? I’m just a fan. 

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