SINGLE REVIEW: Mince – ‘(Don’t Forget) You Can’t Swim’


Mince do the unexpected, they do what they feel like. So with ‘(Don’t Forget) You Can’t Swim’ a band generally known as having at the very least a hint of the post-punk do something entirely different.

If you’ve done ‘the listen before reading this thing’ – look I know it happens, it’s OK honest – you may be reaching for ‘ this sounds like a ramshackle original indie song’ but I urge you to think again. This is pure garage rock circa mid-60s. If this doesn’t mean a thing to you then checkout the album ‘Nuggets’ (a compilation of mid to late 60s garage rock and early psychedelia made by bands who mainly played in their garages, yep that’s how garage rock got its name). This took the pop of the day and through a variety of things – including the fact that some of them were not that proficient – made these ragged on the edge of falling apart songs.

To drive this home this is the classic 60s’ teenage death song format. The track is about a lover, all too keen to get to the deep end, and the other party willing to risk it all to keep the other around. We are left at the end with the warning… ‘(Don’t Forget) You Can’t Swim’.

So that’s the sound, that’s the history. But the important thing here is what in the hell does it sound like – if you haven’t done the listening before reading thing – well it will come as no surprise that it sounds like ragged, on the edge of falling apart, garage rock. Glorious touches abound – the casual vocals with just the right touch of Ramones drawl, the pop song at the very heart of it, the somewhat ragged but arch to the max guitar work. It’s clever you see, it’s not as chaotic and ragged as you may think; there’s thought behind it.

But it feels like 2 minutes of musical joy that leaves you with the biggest grin, a compulsion to crank it louder and play it again and again. It is, to paraphrase, fucking brilliant. I bloody love this band.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.