Catfish and the Bottlemen - The Balance
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Catfish and the Bottlemen released one of the better rock albums of 2019 so far, and The Balance hit #2 on the UK album charts.
The scruffy UK-based quartet has been building an impressive catalog of high energy rock tunes since 2007, and their latest album, The Balance, is no exception to their already stellar line of work.
Some have been quick to comment on social media that many of the songs sound similar, and while there may be some truth in that, the songs rock. Simple as that.
Catfish & The Bottlemen deliver in a way that many rock fans don’t receive enough of in today’s current musical landscape. The Balance brings with it a strong sense of underlying garage-rock mixed with the right amount of that classic British-punk edge. When you listen to CATB you hear The Strokes, you hear The Smiths, you hear Oasis, but you also hear four lads just doing their thing and trying to carve out their own section of rock n’ roll history.
Lead singer, Van McCann, really lays it all out throughout the album, as his expressiveness and delivery are straight up poetic at times.
If you’re a fan of a solid hook then you will definitely find what you’re looking for with songs like “Longshot” and “2all.” Good luck getting those out of your ahead. Speaking of which, there’s plenty of great singalong moments throughout this album.
“Longshot” is without a doubt the most complete track on the album. The song combines storytelling, an ultra-catchy chorus, and a rocksteady contribution from the guitar sections to bring together one of the better rock-songs of the year. Fun fact: The single was released with an awesome music video that plays out in one continuous shot. Check it out below.
“2all” was the third single released about a month before the album dropped, and it does not disappoint. In a way that’s similar to “Longshot,” this track delivers with a catchy, singalong chorus that allows for another great hook to finish the song out. For a song that touches on vulnerability and trust, the band continues on with their nearly care-free vibe that British rock bands have popularized over the years.
“Conversation” starts off with a great guitar riff that lets you know it’s going to be a song that’s worth sticking around for. Once again, the chorus on this is just so damn catchy. If there’s one thing they went out of their way to do on this album - it was make songs that are destined to stick with you for years to come. You’ve got to love the horn section they brought in on this one as well. When listening to “Conversation” it’s really easy to get the sense that this band tears the house down at their live shows.
“Overlap” is another strum-happy guitar-driven track that deserves a closer look. With raw feedback and a signature vocal performance, this track has quickly become a fan favourite and rightly so.
How This Album Differs:
When listening to The Balance compared to their previous work, it’s easy to hear how it differs, but difficult to explain on paper.
On prior albums, they sounded a bit more raw, a bit more loose, and less mature in their musical development. That’s not to say their previous work is significantly worse, but The Balance strikes a different chord.
While many of the songs do have a similar vibe to them, that’s what makes it an album, and that’s what makes The Balance a particular point in their development as artists. The album sounds like a band who’s come a long way since they started. The Balance sounds like a band who knows exactly where they are and where they want to go.