Let’s take you back to a simpler time when guitars ruled, where bands applied the logic of ‘don’t bore us – get to the chorus!’ and where indie pop was the music du jour. After Britpop, the early to mid 2000’s was sublime for guitar bands but understandably saturation occurred and we’re in a limbo land of anaemic pop with the occasional moment of brilliance. If you were to take all the good bits from the 2000s minus the off cuts attributed to indie landfill like Milburn, Boy Kill Boy et al, you’d get plucky four piece Catfish and the Bottlemen. The quartet hail from Llandudno, Wales and have been creating a whirlwind of excitement recently with Zane Lowe offering up praise, they’ve played the hallowed turf of Reading and Leeds Festivals and garnered attention from music rags such as NME and Q Magazine.
This is merely the tip of the iceberg for the plucky foursome; Catfish and the Bottlemen come armed with heat seeker like indie-rock classics in the making. The band’s output thus far has been sharp, snappy and primed to be hollered by festival crowds and to be enjoyed by a mass of thousands. ‘Pacifier’ finds the band flirting with tropical nuances that make Vampire Weekend sound like they come from Blackpool before a chorus erupts amongst a beehive buzz of guitars. ‘Rango’ is a surging wave of searing riffs and pounding drums wrapped around silky vocal harmonies proving that the band’s ragged wares can come sugar coated. Such saccharine moments are kept to a minimum thanks to a swelling cavalcade of duelled guitars embellishing a full-hearted riffed scream. Stadium ready and lung busting is what would be stamped across ‘Homesick’ if you could buy it off a supermarket shelf. Catfish may trip along with a carefree plucked refrain but when the chorus kicks in, it’s advisable to hold on tight as the track slides into gale force territory.
In the guise of frontman Van McCann, Catfish have a mouth piece that can switch from smooth toned to gravel throated howl with ease. Equally the combination of McCann’s fretwork with fellow guitarist Billy Bibby makes for foot-shufflingly addictive, fist pumping riff-tastic gold. Finally the band are made up by the bass rumbles of Benji Blakeaway and Bob Hall on drums.
Due to burrow its way into your lugholes come 14th April 2014, the foursome are readying their latest single, the searing ‘Kathleen’ that continues the band’s swift knack of spewing out a guitar tune that could easily top the charts whilst inducing wide spread pandemonium. McCann’s vocals are at their most guttural whilst the riffs cut like a hot knife through butter. Not to mention Hall’s drumming that could easily level buildings. As if the song couldn’t be more infectious, the accompanying video is a montage of everyone’s favourite junkie come Jedi Knight, Ewan McGregor. Let it be said, we love Ewan McGregor, we love Star Wars, we love Trainspotting…oh Catfish and the Bottlemen you know how to get us hooked!
As Alex Turner said “that rock ‘n’ roll it just won’t go away” and with Catfish and the Bottlemen leading the charge, rock music is in safe hands.
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