Can’t Swim – ‘Foreign Language’

By Yasmin Brown

From the moment you hit play on Can’t Swim’s latest musical endeavour, it’s like opening a door to a hurricane that had until now been safely locked away, its damage limited.

That’s not to say that ‘Foreign Language’ is destructive, per se – but it is aggressive, verging on violent from the offset, and the subjects of these tracks are far from being painted in a positive light (see specifically track five, simply yet effectively titled ‘Prick’). 

Can’t Swim have always been a band with something to say – although never with as much unapologetic bluntness as this – and they’ve brought in friends such as Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara and Frank Carter (minus his Rattlesnakes) to assist them in conveying a message of dismay, disapproval, and disgust.

The beauty here is that while these tracks are clearly aimed at a particular person, or group of people, they’re also vague enough that you can easily apply the lyrics to your own life, too, making it both an accessible and cathartic piece of art. In releasing this EP, Can’t Swim have allowed themselves a new outlet, and they’ve provided one for us as well.

While front man Chris LoPorto has in the past been known to gently scatter dirtier vocals throughout the band’s music, this latest release is almost entirely made up of his shoutier, angrier side. He’s not alone in this change, though, with gritty riffs and manic drum beats perfectly accompanying these more militant tones. Even without taking into account the accusatory lyrics, there’s no chance of misunderstanding here; Can’t Swim are raging, and they have quite clearly had enough of avoiding this fact. 

Make no mistake, this is Can’t Swim as you’ve never heard them before. Don’t expect another ‘Stranger’ or ‘My Queen’ – you won’t find them here. It’s a diversion from the path that this band has otherwise been travelling down, to the point where it almost feels like a side project – a testament to their versatility – but to call it anything other than outstanding would be to do Can’t Swim a disservice. 

Honest and unfiltered, many fans may well find that ‘Foreign Language’ is their favourite release yet, forging an even stronger connection to what is one of the most exciting rock bands on the scene today.

YASMIN BROWN

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