The “catfish army” is coming.
With the release of their debut album, “The Balcony,” Catfish and The Bottlemen look to become the next big addition to the indie genre.
Judging the ‘book’ by its ‘cover,’ so-to-speak, the band seems typical. There they are, just another group of underground indie band members with a ridiculous name that only a few hundred people will ever hear. They must be just another circle of long haired British boys who think they conquer the world with their guitars. But just one quick listen through the album reveals that the band may be headed for bigger heights than most would initially expect. In fact, “the catfish army” (a nickname that has been floating around in the band’s fanbase), may be destined to rise to the very top of the genre.
After awards from the BBC and NME magazine, as well as an appearance on “The David Letterman Show,” Catfish and The Bottlemen have quickly found their way to relevancy. It should come as no surprise, considering their poppy mainstream groove mixed together with flavorful serving of guitar satisfies the desires of today’s music industry. The Welsh band has the potential to make an impact similar to that of bands such as Kings of Leon and The Kooks, both of which they derive sounds from.
Standout moments in “The Balcony” include the rowdy chorus of “Kathleen,”the blossoming pop rock fusion of “Cocoon” and “Business,” and the tranquil, Jake Bugg-influenced “Hourglass.” It’s difficult to spot a particular weak track throughout the entire album.
Perhaps the band’s greatest asset is lead singer Van McCann. In typical indie fashion, he isn’t afraid to hold back his passion and makes sure to put in a good growl or two, but for the majority of the album he keeps his vocals pleasingly smooth and rich.
“The Balcony” is a solid debut album that, at times, features strokes of brilliance. With popularity growing daily, the only thing that would appear to halt the band’s rise to fame would be the band themselves. With just a bit hard work and innovation, they may indeed be headed for the mainstream.