ENTERTAINMENT: Catfish And The Bottlemen Rise With First Studio Album

(Photo courtesy diffuser.fm)

(Photo courtesy diffuser.fm)

By Malena Araujo – Staff Reporter

Catfish and The Bottlemen released their first studio album “The Balcony” in September. Catfish and The Bottlemen is an alternative pop/rock band that formed in Llandudno, North Wales. The band was formed around 2007 and the current members are Van McCann, Johnny Bond, Benji Blakeway, and Bob Hall. The band signed to Communion Records in 2013 and their album made No.10 on the UK Album Charts in 2014. Before that, the band would write songs, cover The Beatles, and play small venues. The band has been compared to the Kooks, Circa Waves, and The Courteeners.

The first single released by the band was “Homesick.” This song gave listeners a preview of the overall feel for the entire album. The single starts of as soft song then switches to a more upbeat sound when the chorus starts. The lyrics, “I said ‘I’m only looking out for you’/ She said ‘It’s obvious that’s a lie’/ ‘But I only ever put out for you, you know it’s obvious you don’t try’/” are spontaneously belted in the chorus. “Rango” is the second single. This song utilizes the drums more, but focuses on lyrics opposed to the first single. The song was mainly written by lead singer, Van McCann, who writes about experiences that relate to him and people. The storyline is about a couple splitting up through rumors, but also about wanting to leave a small town. The last single is “Pacifier” and sounds like The Killers in terms with the beat. The song was written about the differences between two people. It is like lines in a book with the dialogue between the writer and a girl.

The strongest songs off the album are “Kathleen” and “Cocoon.” The songs show more of the alternative rock aspect of the album, but still have an upbeat sound. Also, the lyrics are very clever and conversational. This album doesn’t have many fillers, which is exceptional for a debut. The album has about 11 songs and none of them are created to make up a track list. Each song adds more depth to the album through sound and lyrics.  Catfish and The Bottlemen have been a band for about seven years and they had a lot of time to write songs for this album. The band didn’t expect to ever sell albums because they are more of a live show band.

The band only decided to record this album once they got signed. The decision paid off because now they are able to tour around the world. Despite their growing fans, the sound of the album is an acquired taste. Some listeners might find the sound of the album repetitive and not understand the lyrics.

Catfish and the Bottlemen is said to be the best, “new” alternative pop/rock band in a while. Although they might be an acquired taste, their songs relate to most people. The album is perfect to play during a road trip or just hanging out with friends.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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