If you’ve spent any time listening to indie/alternative radio in the past couple of months you’ve heard Catfish and the Bottlemen’s single Kathleen. Kathleen is the impressive first single off their debut full-length LP The Balcony.
The Balcony is an incredibly polished debut album – it’s guitar and drum driven with gutsy lead vocals from Van McCann. The album opens with the short and sweet indie/pop Homesick, and continues with one unyielding song after another including singles Kathleen and my personal favorite Cocoon. The album takes a folk sounding turn on Hourglass – a very brief break from the rock anthems that dominate the album.
Amidst the high energy, Catfish and the Bottlemen display really beautiful harmonies – particularly on Rango. The album closes out with Tyrant – the most anthemic song on the album. The song is built on a compelling beat, but the guitar work is the star on this song.
My only criticism of the album would be the rather one-note lyrics. The Balcony is pretty much all angst and sexual frustration, which is forgivable considering the youth of the band. I’m willing to see where this band goes with some age and maturity — this debut proves they have something to offer.
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