A REVIEW OF…CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN – THE RIDE

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THE RIDE – second album by Catfish and the Bottlemen

CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN have released their highly anticipated second album.

The Ride was produced by Dave Sardy and released on May 27th.

Ahead of the release, the four-piece teased fans with five of the 11 songs on the album.

Dripping them steadily since February, Catfish and the Bottlemen announced live shows in the same way. They have toured extensively since their debut album, The Balcony, was released.

There is clearly a theme of travelling on The Ride. The acoustics of Glasgow and Heathrow and album opener 7 all reference places far away from their Llandudno (and Newcastle for Bondy) roots.

Then there is the clear stylistic choice of bands that have went before them. Twice has a certain Cocoon-meets-Kings Of Leon touch and Red screams out Bohemian Like You by The Dandy Warhols.

Front-man Van McCann has said all along that the album has been crafted for live performances. Remember – this band sold out Castlefield Bowl in under ten minutes with one album out.

When they played a few lesser visited towns and cities approaching The Ride’s release, some of these new tracks were tested. Anything and Red appeared on setlists, much to the delight of fans who were growing ‘bored’ of hearing The Balcony in full over and over again.

Across the full album, there is still a charm about McCann’s lyrics. Although the band have grown massively in maturity, their are moments throughout The Ride where immaturity is still present.

Calling in sick on a Monday (Twice), getting home drunk and letting someone know how you really feel (Glasgow) and getting someone else to buy their cigarettes (Emily).

These words will be screamed in packed venues by fans and Catfish and the Bottlemen themselves. Really, though, The Ride did not have to be a success. Since The Balcony came out, the band have rocketed to stardom.

Thier endless festival shows and headline sold out shows have created a fan base that hyped the album so much and begged for it to be leaked. The first album sounds massive live – hopefully The Ride will also do that.

The highlight of The Ride comes in the final track – Outside. A building track that, like Tyrants, comes to a sudden end. Almost as if the tape has just cut out. You think the record is broken but it is just the way Catfish and the Bottlemen end records.

The Ride is on Apple Music now and available on Spotify from June 10th.

Order CD/Vinyl editions here: The Ride

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