If only one thing can be said about Catfish and the Bottlemen; they definitely have a memorable name. SEO friendly monikers aside though, much more can be said about the Bottlemen than just that. These British lads have spent the last year making sure that they are a band that you remember, and with their debut album “The Balcony” finally dropping in the states today, it’s time to commit them to memory.
“The Balcony” is a rock album in its truest form. Lead singer Van McCann’s gravelly voice stretches over the infectious guitar riffs with earnest. Every song is a short story. Stories of growing up, getting too drunk and not knowing how exactly love works. McCann has something in his voice and his floppy haired demeanor that could lead you to believe anything as long as he is singing it. At this point, McCann is the only emerging song writer in the indie rock scene that could give Alex Turner a run for his lyrical poetry.
The album starts slow with “Homesick” quietly introducing you to what is yet to come. It doesn’t stay quiet for long though, with the chorus breaking through like a lovers quarrel when the bar is closing. The momentum stays high through hits from across the pond like “Kathleen” and “Cocoon” but the truly memorable tracks come through during the middle of the album.
“Hourglass” is a simple acoustic song that is honest and scary and everything an indie rock song should be. It’s everything a long distance relationship is: fierce, heartbreaking and uncertain. Just like the relationship American fans have had with this band for the last year. This track ends the “A” side of the album and flawlessly transitions into side “B” with “Business.”
“I wanna love you, but I’ve no time.” McCann starts. Truer words have never been spoken when it comes to loving a new band. Side “B” is a darker side, and the uncertainty carries through the end of the album. Catfish and the Bottlemen have nothing to be uncertain of however. If this is what their debut is like, then longevity is certain. More certain than the relationships portrayed in the album perhaps, but nothing less fierce. When it comes to the indie zodiac, 2015 is the year of The Bottlemen, so make time to love them.
Article by: Erin Browne