Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Balcony (ALBUM REVIEW)


catfishalbumCatching fire last year across the pond, Catfish and the Bottlemen release The Balcony in the US early in 2015 hoping to take the country by storm via its power pop rock. Equipped with an album cover that says pretty much everything (without words) regarding the teen angst-y tunes the band plays once the record spins; mainstream poppy and pure with crisp upbeat drums soaring choruses and head bouncing rhythms.

The first single “Kathleen” won awards from the BBC as “Cocoon” also shoots for the arenas with its mega drum intro before big swells and tambourine shakes; each track here is clamoring for mass appeal. Positively though “Fallout” keeps the engine running hot as the band slashes layers of guitars while “Homesick” opens acoustic before getting to its fist pumping chorus quickly.

“Pacifier” gets passionate with tom drum beats before a screamed out chorus and grooving guitar break. “Business Mix” continues the push and pull of lovers with a not so romantic pounding while “26” gets the disco groove on for a dance floor number.

Produced by Jim Abriss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele), there is a clear sense of overdoing it at times for the pop charts. “Hourglass” is the best example of this with its basic acoustic structure getting across frontman Ryan Van McCann’s lyrics excellently before an increase of pomp saps the track of its simple charm.   “Rango” swirls with a effect laden guitar solo while “Tyrants” shows that the band is all in as it goes over the top in both style and substance to close the disk on a ending-credits-to-a-teen-dramedy tip.

Even with the theatrical aspects, Catfish and the Bottlemen are clearly already ahead of the game and poised to kick off the New Year right, touring the US behind their solid first full length release The Balcony.

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