REVIEW: Quicksand SwimClub – What We Go Through EP

Band: Quicksand SwimClub
Album: What We Go Through EP
Release: 2012
Label: Unsigned
Genre: Pop-punk/post-hardcore

Caught in between the catchy melody of summer-time pop-punk and the heavier tinge of post-hardcore, Quicksand SwimClub, a relatively new band coming out of the Midwest US, are soon to release their sophomore What We Go Through EP. Evoking some nostalgia for childhood in both the music and lyrics, the 17 minutes provided are a snippet of the band’s accessible style. Each of the four tracks stands alone and yet flow together with few bumps, showcasing the various influences that pop up along the way.

“Growing Up” starts off with a recognizable mid-tempo melodic riff from Schultz, supported by Buran and Chaaban on bass and drums respectively. While the song lacks the fast-paced hectic feel of punk, the songwriting itself is tight, and channels the Jimmy Eat World spirit, particularly in the sentimental vocals of Amaro. There is a ‘punk rock breakdown’ half-way through which is a little odd, but the song comes back with the catchy repeated line “We’re only young for so long”. The post-hardcore feel creeps in more convincingly in the second track, particularly the Senses Fail kind with a dash of Saosin. QSSC also drop in some screams, as a prep for the surprise to come, resulting in a feel that this track could’ve come from the Burnout 3: Takedown soundtrack (a compliment from my younger self).

Onto the second half, the listener is jarringly hit with a complete change in style. “Swimming In A Shark Tank” is a title representative of the music within: the band dissolves into breakdowncore that echoes something of older The Devil Wears Prada, particularly in the emotional howling screams that dominate the track. Personally the breakdowns don’t appeal to me much, but I can see its charm within the screamo/metalcore community. However, the EP swings upwards with the final track “Better Days”, a return to the catchy pop-punk tunes carved out by the first half of this EP, and a final moment of limelight for the basslines to breathe. It’s not the most powerful of conclusions, but the message of nostalgia has been firmly nailed home by this point with lyrics like “I frustrate myself to sleep for you/find me in my dreams/and then bring me 
to better days”.

What We Go Through is ultimately a cool little discovery. While there are some points to iron out, the groundwork has been laid for some solid and catchy tunes, such as “Growing Up”, which I find myself returning to, and not just for the catchy repeated line I mentioned earlier. I’ll be interested to see where Quicksand Swimclub go in the future, particularly as their sound matures. Stay tuned for when this EP emerges on July 19th!

Rating: 5/10

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