Catfish and The Bottlemen Album Review: The Balcony

The Alt-Rock group Catfish and the Bottlemen has fallen out of love and into lust with the release of their debut album, “The Balcony.”

In 2013, the band made themselves known with the singles “Homesick” and “Rango,” but didn’t start topping charts until the following year when the hit “Kathleen”  topped the US Alt-Rock chart at number 17.

Ditching all traces of hearts and flowers, these Welsh natives channel their inner teenage boy jamming in mom’s garage while still sounding sufficiently grown up. “The Balcony” is upbeat, fast paced, spunky, and thoroughly irritated, with longing. The lyrics are anything but subtle in songs like “Business”, which tell of eager intentions “to get drunk in [the] bedroom,” despite having no time to be friends. A lustful Van McCann belts out raspy cries of exasperated desire in between otherwise clear vocals, desperate to reconnect with a former lover on nothing more then a physical level, for the relationship always just “seem(s) to fall out” when he needs her most.

Even the album artwork emphasizes that the dilemma is physical rather than emotional. What better way to represent the drunken and blinded need conveyed in The Balcony then a headless couple getting physical? The naïve and youthful nature of the album is refreshing and strays from the other serious rather intimate albums in Alt-Rock as of late. So far, Catfish and the Bottlemen have achieved success as the new kids in the genre and will hopefully continue to create pleasing work in coming years.


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