Fresh off the back of their Late Late performance, I was reminded of "The Balcony", Catfish and the Bottlemen’s tenacious debut record, released around a year ago; their calling card, if you will. Whilst the record isn’t particularly ground breaking in terms of guitar driven rock music. The Balcony is a stimulating and faith restoring record that in an age of over produced, chart driven music, stands out from the crowd.
The nature of the writing is spontaneous and the narrative, a very personable one. The tracks focus on drunken escapades, fractured relationships and banal upbringing. The song titles reflect that for the better part as well if you like that sort of thing. The artwork for their singles and album is minimal but effective, a rather considered aesthetic, but it’s definitely not a forced one. Most of their single’s artwork feature line drawings of a boy and a girl mid grope or embrace, which largely delineates the intentions of their record.
Something about The Balcony is quite nostalgic or maybe it’s just that the band are in the same place myself and my friends were a decade ago. The kind of bands I’m talking about are The Cribs, Sunshine Underground, Pigeon Detectives and The Kooks, or at least their eponymous debuts from that time. There’s something about the shouty choruses, simplistic melodies and brash lyricism that creates a winning formula. Obviously, all of those bands have gone on to explore other sounds but I've posted a couple of reference tracks to that time period. When you consider Catfish and the Bottlemen then, in this light, their record becomes pretty refreshing.
Check out the video for "Rango", probably the best track on there after "Business", and a video production that somehow makes and animation centred in a ball sack, cool. Their latest interpretation for the track, Hourglass featuring Ewan McGregor, is posted below as well. Check their site www.catfishandthebottlemen.com for upcoming sophomore album and tour date information.