Catfish and the Bottlemen
The Balcony

Released: 15th September 2014
Label: Communion Records

At last a debut album has arrived that is set to inspire a new generation of teenagers to pick up a guitar, form a band and have the belief that the world is theirs for the taking. ‘The Balcony’, the debut album from Catfish and The Bottlemen, really is that good it could see them take over the world. Which is no more than they deserve.

Catfish and The Bottlemen have spent the last five years self-releasing EPs and live demos, relentlessly touring the length and breadth of this country and living the rock 'n' roll dream in the good old-fashioned way without relying on the over-rated hype of some of the bands that have gone before them. That hard work, and their belief in the songs they create, is what will keep this band's feet firmly on the ground and will ensure they remain with us for the long haul.

‘Homesick’ sets a very high standard for what is to follow. The quiet, melodic verses and powerful anthemic choruses are destined for those big arenas, and listening to Van’s vocals you get a clear understanding of how much passion this man feels for the songs he sings. ‘Kathleen’ follows with powerful guitar riffs that will sweep even the most casual of listeners off their feet. ‘Cocoon’ is full of infectious hooks and melodies ensuring there really is no turning back and that this is an album that will be with you for life.

Further highlights include ‘Fallout’ which demonstrates that Van has more than one trick up his sleeve and the angst of the opening three songs is replaced by a more laid-back style. ‘Hourglass’ is a sweet, acoustic song that is perfectly placed on the album while ‘Rango’ overflows with confidence and is already a classic for me. The guitar riffs, drum beats and vocals on 'Tyrants' are somewhat darker but offer the perfect end-of-the-night soundtrack.

‘The Balcony’ really is something special. As with so many of the great debut albums of the last twenty years - ‘Definitely Maybe’, ‘Is This It’, ‘Up The Bracket’, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ - ‘The Balcony’ captures that feeling of escapism; of trying to get out of a small town, believing that you were put on this earth to write music and have a great time doing it.

Catfish and The Bottlemen are exactly what music needs right now and, with every date of their UK tour currently sold out, it looks like the world is ready for this band too.

We caught up with the band back in 2011 to talk all things music. You can have a read of our feature and exclusive interview here.

Steve Tay

Catfish and the Bottlemen

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Catfish and the Bottlemen

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