2.28.2017

Back to Rock and Roll: Catfish and the Bottlemen Don't Disappoint

Left to right: Bob Hall (drums), Benji Blakeway (Bass),
Johnny "Bondy" Bond (Guitar), & Van McCann (Vocals & Guitar)

     Between writing articles and working, I've made time to check out the band that's been making waves in the US from across the pond---Catfish and the Bottlemen. Despite the quirky name, which sounds more like the name of a Weird Al cover band than an alt. rock group, these four dark haired Brits are some of the most ambitious musicians in the business... and it's not hard to see why. Catfish's blend of catchy power choruses, energetic rock beats, and well executed guitar solos proves their status as last year's recipients of the Brit Award for British Breakthrough Act.



     Take a listen at some of Catfish's biggest tracks on Spotify. "7" and "Kathleen" rank at the top while my current jam, "Twice", is at fourth with "Soundcheck" close behind (video above). 

     While most of their top hits are similar in style, CATB don't just stick to the basic alt/indie rock groove. Less celebrated tracks such as 'Tyrants' sounds more like First Impressions of Earth era The Strokes while "Heathrow" and "Oxygen" resemble The Kooks (at least, to me).
     Why should you be paying attention to Catfish? CATB is bringing good and simple rock music back to the music scene. What is 'good and simple rock'? Raw talent without all of the electronic bull shit backing up a track. With all respect to bands such as MGMT and even JC & the Voidz who use electronic instruments to create an almost unrepeatable performance on their tracks, there's something about hearing a song performed live and being blown away by how awesome it sounds. Every artist strives for the song's best version not to be the album recording. Being able to create an energy that blows people's minds is the ultimate achievement for a musician, and that's what CATB have done at every. single. show. 
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Benji Blakeway, Bob Hall, Van McCann & Johnny Bond
     Front man Van McCann never misses a chance to brag that CATB are flat out awesome live. In an interview with NME McCann said, "Live is our thing. I'm not saying other bands can touch us but that's our expertise. I think there are so many bands who are better than us at recording, writing songs, singing and playing guitars or whatever, but in terms of creating an atmosphere I think we're the best... No band will throw a rave like we can."



    Catfish & the Bottlemen will be releasing their third album... very soon. In an interview with NME, McCann said, "It's miles better than the last album. The band's 10 times better, the crew's 10 times better, we're all 10 times better looking. I wanted to make a life-affirming record for normal heads. People who get up and just want to have a good day." He continues, "I want to make you feel the way The Strokes did, but with the enormity of Oasis and the lyrics of The Streets." It's a tall order, but CATB haven't been known to disappoint.

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