Death Deserves A Name is hardly an enticing name for a debut EP, yet it harks back to the gloomy album titles such as Strangeways, Here We Come and I See A Darkness. However, Can’t Swim fundamentally fail to deliver the lyrical genius or the imposing melodies both of those albums deliver in bucket loads.
The EP begins promisingly; the formidable drum beat will incite immediate headbanging and the vocals of frontman Chris Loporto grow in intensity, culminating in an impressively aggressive and catchy song. The ease with which he is able to go from softly spoken to rawly shouting is unnerving, resulting in a song that sounds pieced together by two different vocalists, a feeling that emanates from the whole EP. The intensity of the vocals remains at the high that Your Clothes ends with at the beginning of Way It Was. While the theme of a relationship falling apart is all too common and relatable, the aggressive nature of the song, whilst obviously reflecting the anger, makes the song difficult to connect with.
The winning formula of the underlying music is maintained; the shredding of the guitar and the bass give the EP some redeeming features. The overlaying of various emotive vocals on Right Choice gives a weird sort of rock choir feel to the song but by this point the songs all begin to sound the same as the melodies feel repeated. Come Home is somewhat of a musical oxymoron; the repeated cries of “come home now” incite completely the opposite feeling although the changing tone and elements of live recording make it the most enjoyable song on the EP.
The title track Death Deserves A Name marks a shift in the sound of the band, possibly one that will be explored on their future EPs or albums. If that is the case, it is one that will be better received than this current effort; the main achievement on this is that they managed to squeeze in both ‘can’t swim’ and ‘death deserves a name’ somewhere in the lyrics.
For fans of: Far, Glassjaw, Safe To Say
Words by Clara Duffy
‘Death Deserves A Name’ by Can’t Swim is released on 26th February on Pure Noise Records.