|09-25-2014, 11:02 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2014
Catfish and the Bottlemen - The Balcony
I've never reviewed anything before, would appreciate positive and negative feedback.
I had first heard of Catfish and the Bottlemen back in April, where I was supposed to feature in one of their music videos that was being shot in London. I’m still unsure which song it was for, or if they actually released the music video; all I know is that I was going to get paid £20 and get a sandwich thrown in with it. Whatever the case was, I didn’t end up going because I wasn’t feeling too well at the time.
Anyway, from that point I still hadn’t really listened to the band and didn’t really have any intentions to do so. It wasn’t until July this year I took a bit more notice as I saw they were having a lot of airtime on the biggest radio stations in the UK.
I was still a bit hesitant on giving this band my time of day, mainly because I thought they were another Indie wannabe act – how I was wrong.
‘The Balcony’ is a convincing timeline of the average teenager. The lyric themes explore love, lust, friendships, breakdowns and even more abstractly – being a test tube baby, of which Van McCann (frontman) was. There aren’t really any subtleties throughout the album, “I have no time for your friends they can ****ing do one” from ‘Business’ is probably the best example. The vulgarity coincides with these songs that are energised with loud guitars, strong vocals and catchy pop hooks. They are a band that ooze intensity and determination. It’s like listening to The Killers without the condescending bull**** sprayed by Brandon Flowers. ‘Cocoon’ and ‘Kathleen’ are two of the best-written songs on the album, “You’re sympatico” opens the latter – Google it, fine diction.
McCann’s voice is very gritty, similar to Kelly Jones (Stereophonics) and this is heard mostly when he strains his vocal. This adds so much to the Bottlemen’s sound, giving it a tangible edge that the fans have grown to love. ‘Hourglass’ is a different example of the rawness that accumulates throughout. It is a well-produced record, even if the vocals are drowned out a few times by the loud backing tracks. Every boy in Year 10 with a guitar is currently aspiring to be Van by next year, move over Alex Turner.
The New Zealand born colloquial-hipster that is Zane Lowe has loved Catfish and the Bottlemen from day one (of being played on BBC Radio 1), but doesn’t he love every bit of new music that’s on the Radio 1 playlist after 7pm?
Well he’s in luck, because this time he might just be right.