A REVIEW OF…CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN – SOUNDCHECK

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CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN have followed up The Balcony with Soundcheck

CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN have returned with new single Soundcheck.

Premiered last night, it has already been received with mixed reviews. Many were let down by The Balcony-era follow up. With acts such as Palma Violets, The Vaccines and Jake Bugg flopping with follow up material it was difficult to create something that would not put Catfish and the Bottlemen in that situation.

Soundcheck starts with Van McCann’s typical pining voice overlaying a relaxed Bob Hall drumbeat before breaking into an indie ballad. Although the band have took steps forward in terms of quantity, Soundcheck sounds like one of the amount of songs that was written before their big break.

This however is not a bad thing. It is the type of track that would fit brilliantly on a setlist in a £6-a-ticket social club gig, but it will also magnificently echo around a sold out Castlefield Bowl in July.

Catfish and the Bottlemen’s ‘down-to-earth-normal-guys’ approach is still present in Soundcheck. Themes such as racing through a soundcheck for 5 minutes with someone on their fag break and allowing them to use your jacket as a cover show the romance and goofy charm of a teenager, but the overall instrumentation is maturer.

Soundcheck’s pace is steady, unlike the bouncier Sidewinder, Tyrants etc. More of a singalong track. Then, just as you are feeling relaxed, a breakdown leading up to an arena-filling, spiraling guitar solo comes out of nowhere.

It will be interesting to see where Catfish and the Bottlemen go with the highly anticipated album. Fans who had tickets for the last tour were treated to 7. If these two tracks are anything to go by, Catfish and the Bottlemen’s second studio album will be as good as, if not better than, 2014’s The Balcony.

Buy Soundcheck here: Soundcheck on iTunes.

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