Catfish and The Bottlemen - The Balcony (Review)

With the announcement of their second album 'The Ride' I thought I would write a review for their first album, 'The Balcony', which was released way back in September 2014 which was in my opinion a great year for music and was also the year that Catfish finally found their well deserved fame. Ever since this album it has been non-stop touring for the band playing sold out show after sold out show which has resulted in them becoming one of the stand out bands in England at the moent which isn't bad for a few boys from Wales. What always astounded me about Catfish was the fact that even though they are part of an extremely wide genre something always seemed different about them, like a hunger to succeed and it has resulted in this album right here being made, with it's extremely simplistic yet crude cover art and list of one word titles for songs.

The album kicks into fifth gear immediately with the song Homesick which starts with Van taking on this whole other level of harmony which he only touches on in places on the album but that's okay because that isn't what you listen to Catfish for, but this is a perfect opener because it doesn't kick off too fast and it isn't booming straight away. The simple strings on this are also really easy to listen to because they intertwine with Van's voice so melodically that it's like nectar in your ears. The album then shifts into sixth gear with the song Kathleen, one of the first singles from the album, it's guitar ridden love song that's not really a love song as Van sings "I've gotta give it to ya, ya give me problems, when you're not in the mood" it's self indulgent to say the least but you have to admire the honesty behind this song. Another thing about Catfish is the fact that a Welsh accent never really shines through on the album and this is something I love, not becausse I have anything against the Welsh accent, but I don't really enjoy any accents in music, it's the main reason for my distate for the bands Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic.

Cocoon is by far and away one of the greatest songs to be released in 2014, it has everything you want in an Indie Rock song, it's catchy, it's the right mix of heavy and light and it contains unnecessary swearing. The song is something of a lovely song albeit if it's portrayed utterly differently on first few listens. The song is basically an ode to ignoring haters and I guess the name of the song is a reflection of wrapping yourself in a cocoon to protect yourself from this, which is something I didn't get for about year after release so it's a good idea that I've done this review so late. Another notable song on this album has to be Pacifier, now this song is too good because the instrumentation is truly magnificent, I used to use Catfish instrumentals when i revised because I feel that they have something truly magnificent when they play, then throwin Van;s incredible songwriting on the top of that along with the vocals from the man himself it's a truly extraodinary combination/

The thing is about this album is that I don't hate a single thing about it, I literally can not pick a fault with it sonically or visually as the videos are brilliant in my eyes aswell and I recommend that you give them a watch. Everytime I listen to this album I always get this overriding feeling that I don't like the second half of the album but I love the second half just as much as the first when I actually listen to it. Not to mention that this album has aged incredibly well because i still listen to this regularly. Also, shoutout to EA for putting Cocoon on the Fifa 14 soundtrack. This album = Perfection.

10/10

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