After the sensational release “This Too Won’t Pass” in 2018, Can’t Swim made a big stamp for themselves in the Pop Punk scene. Their crossroads of traditional Pop Punk with a kick made their music innovative and intriguing- especially to those that love both sets of genres: Pop Punk and Hardcore.
This release echoes that; rather, it raises the bar. In “Change of Plans,” it is evident that Can’t Swim is stepping into their Hardcore sound with gusto. The first several tracks on the make feature instrumental breakdowns that we would commonly hear in that genre compared to the latter. This showed me that Can’t Swim came to play.
Listening to the record, alongside the instrumental interludes, it can be said that a lot of the instrumental materials are very catchy- just as the melodic lines. I find myself humming the beginning instrumental part to “Set the Room Ablaze” probably more than the lyrics. This is actually quite remarkable because in Pop Punk music- we don’t see this result often.
This shows that the instrumental lines are not only holding melodic material, but they are also intelligently written. We hear this throughout the record rather consistently. When listening to the run of the make, the album flows nicely together. I don’t have a lot of fancy words to describe it other than it is just a solid record from top to bottom.
One thing that can be said about the Pop Punk scene is that it is changing. A lot of approaches to this genre have merged with the Alternative-Pop scene to become more modern. Some say this is to keep up with what is popular, or the “trends in music,” but it has moved us to a “new sound” for Pop Punk.
This album? Takes us back to the good ole days with the flair of modern producing, and that- that is what I like to see (or hear).
I could list off the varied musical nuances the band uses- strategic silence, heightened instrumentals and lyrical lines that contrast one another, moments of homorhythmic playing to accents specific parts, intricate instrumentals that stick in your mind, witty lyrical approaches that make the listeners think, and gritty vocal approaches that sit just right in the Can’t Swim characteristic sound.
Like I mentioned before, it is hard to dive into detail about this record because it is just a rock solid, solid rock record.
I am giving this album a 4 out of 5 stars.
*”Change of Plans” was released on October 22nd, 2021 through Pure Noise Records.