Quicksand SwimClub - What We Go Through
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: July 17th, 2012
It seems like every day there's a new band that becomes a talking point across AP or other sites, and most of the time, these new bands are significant because they bring something new to the table. However, I think the bands that try to recreate the sounds they loved or grew up with ten or so years ago deserve just as much attention. It may be harder, but it is definitely possible for these bands.
"Late nights burn to days when you're this age. There's no more emotions; when you lose what you love, it's gone." Quicksand SwimClub preaches these lyrics on their opening track "Growing Up," but I would tend to disagree. The band could very well become one of the bands to establish a strong following of fans flooded with feelings of nostalgia towards the glory days of bands like Armor For Sleep and Taking Back Sunday around 2003. The point is, Quicksand SwimClub's strongest attribute is their ability to stir up those longing desires for music of the recent past. Looking closer at the opening track, you'll notice the striking similarities to Armor For Sleep in both the soaring melodies and the strong pop-punk guitar hooks. The focus on pop-punk isn't too strong, though. There's a good balance between the catchiness and a more powerful, indie-style sound.
The best track is probably the closer "Better Days," which turns more to the old Take This To Your Grave style pop-punk sound. The strong backbone laid out by the guitars gives the song an edge and allows it to be carried to the next level by the high vocals. "Got Nothing to Gain" is solid as well, but it's a lot more forgettable because of it's various similarities to "Growing Up." The song structure and dynamics may be more creative, but it lacks the catchiness that goes along with songs like these.
The track I've been saving for last is "Swimming In A Shark Tank," and it marks the drastic shift in the EP from pop-punk to post-hardcore. Most of the time, these genres are blended, like with A Day to Remember. However, this is a straight up in-your-face hardcore song that is a blatant contrast to the others, so much so that it hurts the band more than it helps them. It starts off as a pretty typical hardcore song, showing off a lot of the band's talent and influences from bands like Underoath. The screams are a little weak, especially the highs that come off as just a less rough imitation of Alex Koehler from Chelsea Grin. The clean vocals are also lacking, the melody being poorly suited to the music and the execution just falling short. It's not too bad, though, especially when the bridge comes around, showing off a breakdown section matched with a dance like drum beat which actually work together quite well.
I won't say that Quicksand SwimClub is as good as the great bands their sound reminds me of, but when I think about it, that doesn't matter so much. This EP is undeniably catchy and a fun listen. What may be even better than that is the feeling you get when you listen to it. It may bring a lot of nostalgia or negative feelings, but it also brings a lot of happy memories. Maybe that's just me, but hey, I guess you'll just have to listen for yourself to find out.