If you haven’t heard of Catfish and the Bottlemen by now, then you have probably passed out for the last year and a half and suddenly woken up again. Their debut album was a huge success, going gold in the UK and reaching the top ten of the album charts. Today they released the lead single from their second album, due to drop later this year; the song is entitled ‘Soundcheck’ and doesn’t express a huge change from their earlier tracks. I used to be a big fan of the band, seeing them 3 times in one year but recently I have gone off ‘Balcony’ and this song failed to excite me at all.
The song starts off with Van McCann’s signature muted down guitar and soothing vocals that howl about how he “doesn’t act the way he used to” because he “doesn’t feel the same” about whoever he is mourning about. Unfortunately, for me, these lyrics and guitar riffs are too similar to their debut album and they really are not quite the stadium fillers that the band want to produce.
Something that I do really like about this song is the fuzzy, almost Black Keys like, guitar riff that builds up to the chorus, which is fairly dull by the second time round. However the bridge is very powerful and arguably, musically, the best aspect of any Catfish and the Bottlemen single that has been released. It’s a shame because this part, on its own, is not only compelling but musically interesting too; the rest of the song just seems annoyingly weak and rushed. It’s a fact that this record will still sell and die hard Bottlemen fans will be pleased with the outcome but, when looking at the single with an open mind, it really wasn’t worth the build up of a year and a half. Van and Co quoted “I feel like the last album was the support band, or even the soundcheck and this one’s the headliner,” but I have to disagree, songs like ‘Pacifier’ and ‘Rango’ blow this out of the water and seem like the headliner with ‘Soundcheck’ being the 1:30 slot on the Festival Republic stage at Reading and Leeds.
Although this was not the best of songs, it is good to see Catfish headlining some festivals this year- including Liverpool’s sound city and Truck Festival, both events expressing an amazing line up. They are also set to play the likes of Kendall Calling and Y Not? which equally have impressive bills, featuring Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Madness.
Truck Festival (July 15)
Kendall Calling (July 28)
Y Not Festival (July 29)
Rating: 4/10 (Sorry Catfish fans).