- 29 Apr 19
Van McCann's crew produce underwhelming third album.
Welsh quartet Catfish And The Bottlemen return with their third record The Balance.
Curiously, there is very little to separate this offering from either their debut The Balcony, or its 2016 follow-up The Ride. The band’s over-reliance on the definite article when naming their albums, unfortunately proves emblematic of their approach.
The Balance opens with the pleasing enough ‘Longshot’, and the hope is that this jaunty number will pave the way for something fresh. Instead, Catfish quickly revert to type with the single ‘Fluctuate’. It will undoubtedly be the centrepiece of their summer gigs, but it in as strange way, it seems to signal an aversion to progress.
None of the lyrics are especially memorable – they are not bad, but it’s all just, well, fine. To their credit, the production and arrangements are slick, with hooks and energy galore. There are even glimpses of what might have been had Catfish And The Bottlemen been just a little bit more daring, particularly on ‘Intermission’. Ultimately, Catfish are crowd-pleasers, with a loyal fanbase eager to see their heroes in live action this summer.
I can’t escape the feeling, though, that there is little here that will win new converts. If someone said this is The Kooks Lite I wouldn’t argue. Less balance is required – more chaos please.