is eleven high-energy songs, filled with sharp guitar chords and Van McCann's angsty vocals (the rest of the band is Johnny Bond on lead guitar, Benji Blakeway on bass, and Bob Hall on drums). Their music manages to strike a balance between raw and natural, catchy and anthemic. They have the energy of a punk band playing in a dive bar, harnessed into something more polished.
Catfish and the Bottlemen
shares some similarities with the Arctic Monkeys
, including a producer: Jim Abiss, who also worked with Adele, although you wont find any "Rolling in the Deep" sequels on this album.
includes four tracks from their EP — "Kathleen", "Homesick", "Pacifier" and "Rango" — and "Kathleen" remains the standout track of the LP. Its highs, lows and emotional chorus are irresistible. "I gotta give it to you/ You give me problems," McCann, as frustrated as possible, yells loudly during the chorus. The lyrics are honest and straightforward, with uncompromising emotionality — sometimes to the point of being crude — like on "Business": "I wanna love you but I have no time/ For your friends that can f*cking do one/ I've had a rough night".
Although many of The Balcony
's heavy-hitting songs come early in the album — "Cocoon" — make sure you stay through to the end for real gems like "Sidewinder" and "Tyrants".
is out now via Communion
. Get your copy here
, and check out our exclusive session with the boys below: