Catfish And The Bottlemen - The Balcony

Wer den Weg von Catfish And The Bottlemen in den letzten Monaten mitverfolgte - und das dürften in ihrer britischen Heimat nicht wenige sein, denn ihre aktuelle Tournee in Veranstaltungsorten mit vierstelliger Publikumszahl ist bereits restlos ausverkauft - den dürfte das Debütalbum "The Balcony" nicht weiter überraschen. Denn seit Anfang 2013 hat das walisische Quartett bereits sechs Singles veröffentlicht, die alle unter den 11 Albumsongs zu finden sind.

Wer mit der Band mit dem ungewöhnlichen Namen noch nichts anzufangen weiß, der darf sich auf 37 Minuten ungestümen, jugendlichen Indierock freuen, der Freunden von Arctic Monkeys oder The Strokes sicherlich gefallen wird und sich anschickt das zu halten, was uns vor geraumer Zeit bei den Palma Violets versprochen wurde. Durchatmen darf man zwischendurch nur beim akustischen "Hourglass".

Catfish And The Bottlemen stammen aus Llandudno, einem kleinen Örtchen in Wales, musizieren seit 2007 gemeinsam und bestehen aktuell aus Van McCann (Gesang), Benji Blakeway (Bass), Bob Hall (Schlagzeug) und dem weiblichen Neuzugang Elaine Bond (Gitarre). "The Balcony" wurde von Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian) produziert und steht ab dem 19. September in unseren Plattenläden. 

Well, the album is all guitars and big boy lyrics – so far so good.

There are shades of Marr in some of Billy Bibby’s guitar melodies – exemplified by the band’s latest single, Cocoon, three tracks in.

If Mr Brightside captured the Zeitgeist of student nights everywhere, this will stick a pin in the memories of thousands of unwashed, dilated festival-goers who experienced it live this year.

Frontman Van McCann has an agreeable vocal tone and, if there’s a criticism, the album’s production tends to drown him out slightly at times, burying his lyrics during some of the choruses.

Anyone who conjures the line “I’m craving your calls like a soldier’s wife” (found in the semi-acoustic love song Hourglass) deserves a hearing.

Close your eyes and McCann’s voice echoes with shades of John Power, he of The Cast and The La’s.

At other times there’s the rawness of a young Bono, rather than his latter day reincarnation as Mother Theresa in sunglasses.

For all the comparisons they have their own sound but influences are apparent, such as a hint of the Manics in their previous single release, Kathleen, at track two.

It’s maybe no surprise as they have worked with the guy who mixed and engineered the Manics’ singles collection.

McCann’s lyrics are grown up, sweary angst and lovelorn, but in a manly way women will accept and men will sing along to – sort of a polar opposite to James Blunt.

Satisfying, metronomic bass and drum lines underpin guitar riffs that guide you through Pacifier, Business, 26, and Rango, another single release. Homesick and Fallout are the others.

The penultimate offering is the rousing Sidewinder, which starts with some thoughtful plucking before slapping you about with big, thumping bass and intricate guitar overlays. It will fill your ears.

The album crescendos with Tyrant, which fairly gallops off after a slow start, before ceasing abruptly and leaving you stretching for the replay button.

For a debut album it is accomplished and feels like the work of a band already used to negotiating the headlights of fame.

That’s probably a result of their prodigious touring schedule over the last 36 months. Practice, it seems, makes almost perfect.

You should buy this album before everybody else does and renders you passé. Yes Zane Lowe, take a bow son, they are as good as you say.
(Daily Post)

Catfish And The Bottlemen in Deutschland:
24.11.14   Berlin, Comet
25.11.14   Köln. MTC


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