September 15th is the date when Catfish and the Bottlemen will release their debut album ‘The Balcony’, and after listening to it over and over again it is safe to say the album is an indie masterpiece from start to finish.
The band take powerful, catchy choruses and combine them with honest and relatable lyrics, which seems to be the correct mixture for any strong indie album. For example the Arctic Monkeys Whatever people say I am that’s what I’m not and The Courteeners St.Jude,they both had this relatable quality along with choruses that refused to leave the brain. However Catfish and the Bottlemen have managed to do this while giving the formula a twist.
A large part of the album you can find on youtube because they’ve been playing the songs for so long, however this takes nothing away from the final product even if you have listened to ‘Kathleen’ 1000 times.
The album opens up with the chorus stomping ‘Homesick’ which seems to get anyone singing regardless if they know the words or not, this a perfect example of the band as it’s a catchy two-minuter to pull everyone in and get them interested, it achieves that with ease.
The album barely lets up as it continues to throw hit after hit at you with ‘Kathleen’ ‘Cocoon’, ‘Fallout’ and ‘Pacifier’. They all have the same aim which is to get you singing and fall in love, and if you are as indie as you think you are then you will fall in love with them too.
They continuously remind you of the early 00’s when indie music was having a mini-revival with Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes because the songs are that strong, however they bring hope that it will stay around for a while.
Each classic album needs a slow song which all the audience can shout along to, and the band covered that with ‘Hourglass’ as Van sits down and begins to serenade us. Of course it has the classic line at the start of the track where Van asks if the producer is ready before starting to play, which everyone warms to because it gives them a human touch.
The second part of the album is where the lesser known tracks come in, yet it still manages to excite as their songs are easy to enjoy because of their pop quality.
‘Business’ really stands out because of its infectious chorus that screams sing me, the song isn’t incredibly complex or difficult but it’s because of its simplicity the song works so well. ‘Rango’ is the old classic that features on the second part of the album, and because of the slight touches to it the song feels fresh. The song also has those little lines that people enjoy like “Then again it’s you” and “Make you make mistakes so you can offer to take her home”, lines like that always stick in your mind.
‘Tyrants’ is a perfect way to the end album as it rather on the slow side for the band; however it has this dark feeling behind it along with a heavily reverbed guitar. At the end we are treated a very well worked solo which we don’t hear too often throughout the album, but it’s a fitting ending for the album.
It’s hard to think how utterly proud the band should be with a debut album like this as it is the best debut for a long time, and if they continue to make albums like this they will become one of the best bands the UK have to offer. McCann explained that the band will continue to make albums like this, which is a brave thing to say, but was refreshing to hear as most bands try to change too often which unfortunately sees some fans lose interest. Hopefully he sticks to his word and continues like this, as I never see it becoming boring.
Words By Alex Wise @al4563