Catfish and the Bottleman the Welsh rock band released their second studio album, “The ride,” on May 27th, 2016. This has proven to be a great follow up to, “The Balcony,” which was released in 2014. The Ride is great musically and lyrically. Based on the irrational guitar and questioning lyrics, Catfish and the Bottlemen really made a mystery in this album.
Catfish and the Bottlemen were founded in 2007. The band contains Ryan Evan “Van” McCann (guitar and lead vocalist), Benjamin “Benji” Blakeway (Bass), Johnny “Bondy” Bond (lead guitarist) and Robert “Bob” Hall (drummer). They released, “The Balcony” on September 14, 2014 under Communion Records. The album did so well that they ended with the No.10 album on the UK charts, did famous festivals such as Glastonbury, The Governors Ball, and Bonnaroo, and they won a 2016 Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough Act. So when they released this album on island Records, an affiliate of Universal Music, there is more opportunities to work with and more things to gain.
This album seems to be a story about the struggles you went through with your ex or current girlfriend and life. Like all the good things you had with her like smoking a cigarette with her, (the lyrics say smoke a fag but everything is politically incorrect), to drinking at home. Then there are the sacrifices you made like quitting smoking and drinking and rushing through sound check just to see her and put life aside. You like with her because that’s your way of escaping. So she’s got you in a chokehold and making you do things you don’t want to do. She’s controlling you and following every demand. You also worry when she’s out for a period of time and your happy when she’s home because you don’t have to worry another night about seeing other boys that she looks at better than you. You have a bottle because you like it better when you’re both drunk. You think you can change, you think your good when you do everything, be there when she needs you, and push through the struggles. The problem is nothing is ever good enough. What’s her name? “Emily.”
This album is brilliantly produced and it’s done by none other than Oasis producer David Sardy. It seems like if David Sardy wasn’t producing this, this would just be another indie album, but his production captures every good aspect of this album. It also explains why the song, “Oxygen,” sort of sounds like an Oasis song. The lyrics were obviously beautiful and the guitar matched the energy that is this album. The songs sound a little upbeat, (in my opinion at least), but it seems like an ironic sort of message. The best thing about this to me was that this album didn’t seem difficult to make. They didn’t really have to push to be more creative, it just happened. It just fit somehow and that’s why this is a great band. By the end of the album there a lot of questions you have to ask. Such as, “What did she make you do?” “Why would you quit things just to be with her?” “Did you even love her or you were looking for an excuse?” The list goes on and on. You can easily relate this to grunge music with more major keys or older Artic Monkeys, not like now. “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor,” Arctic Monkeys. More like bands that have a faster pace, but still have music based on the worst of times.
The two biggest songs were, “Twice,” (Video via YouTube, uploaded by See Shell, video taken place live at the Royal and Derngate, Northampton).
and “Soundcheck,” (Video via YouTube, uploaded by The Bottlemen’s Vevo page).
Those are the songs you want to rock out to. The songs that make your mom want to tell you to turn that stuff down. If anything was a big success was the song, “Anything.” It shows that you’re willing to push through struggle, and it seems it’s about struggle through relationship, but you can base through numerous events of your life. The lyrics to every one of these songs are easily relatable to such events that it’s understandable why they have a pretty big fan base.
The only thing about this album and it’s more minor than you think. “The Ride,” almost sounds like, “The Balcony.” This album sound similar to the last album because of the pace of every song, and the instrumentation. The production was better and “The Ride,” had two acoustic songs instead of one. When making a new album, people are going to expect something different. That doesn’t excuse critics from hating on it.
A ton of critics hate this album. It doesn’t make sense at all. They say that there music is not that creative and uses a ton of influences form other bands such as The Killers or Blue Oyster Cult. You know who else uses influences from other bands, the bands you listen to. Its 2016 everything has been used in different songs. How many years of recorded music and you expect something to be original? Also critics don’t get the lyrics; they’re scared of the lyrics. You got to use your imagination here. Walk a mile in the songwriters’ shoes. Pretend like you’ve been there before, then you might have a better understanding.
Catfish and the Bottlemen have really proven to be legit in the past two years. They’ve really had their fair share of success. They might be one of the top British stars one day. It might come sooner than you think. What did this band did with, “The Ride,” was to create something that connected with their huge fan base. Who knows how much this will sell? “The Balcony,” sold 250,000 and landed the 10 spot on the UK charts, it’s just too early to tell.
Buy this album on iTunes; it’ll be on Spotify on June 10th. Physically, the albums are available on CD and Vinyl. Get the limited edition bundle; it comes with your choice of CD or vinyl, a limited edition screen print and a t-shirt. Sounds like a great graduation gift. If you really want to spoil your graduate student son or daughter, go get them concert tickets. You may not be able to get them the tickets when Catfish perform in Liverpool Sound City on May 28th in Liverpool, England or Radio I’s Big Weekend on May 29th in Exeter, England, (because there in England). They will be performing at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo, New York on June 2nd, and they’ll be at The Governors Ball on June 4th. There are a lot of songs about struggle in this album. When this album starts selling, there will be no struggle at all.
Catfish and the Bottlemen, “The Ride.”
A great follow up to, “The Balcony.” “The Ride,” is complex yet simple at the same time. It’s very mysterious in ways of instrumentation and lyricism. It always keeps you guessing.