Catfish and the Bottlemen – A band that were pointed out to me in the latter stages of the previous year I subsequently had the joys of reviewing them for a blog back in Liverpool. The welsh four-piece sporting all black clothes and playing emotive guitar driven music have been a band that have been on the verge of “making it” for several years, now with a label under the belt alongside a back catalogue that seems to be ever growing in quantity a long with quality, 2014 WILL definitely be the year for this band, and here’s why I think this:
Firstly, one of the bands first major releases into the mainstream was the 6 and a half minute anthem to be; “Tyrants” a songs sporting all sorts of features that could be compared to that of an already signed and dare I say established band yet this song was released prior to any major label interest and saw the band become massive and what I see as a major factor in this was accessibility of this single, there is no music video, to my knowledge, and you could only actually buy the song by attending one of the band’s gigs increasing the attendance and interest of the band.
Secondly, what seems to be an almost forgotten single within the public interest; “Broken army” this song really broadcasted the front-man Van’s rough yet intricate vocals and the intricacy of the band as a whole, how the intro seems to be a complete change in tone to the verses similarly this began to see the change in the band’s moody aesthetic of black, white and songs that suit the winter to songs that really, genuinely, have a cheeky irresistible vibe about them.
Enter, the actual anthem (and personal favourite); “Sidewinder”, this song really began to show how the band had grown, the song is still considered to be under the status of a “big hit” with live videos constantly being uploaded to Youtube even after a year of being released and other, more widespread releases following it showing how the band had grew from strength to strength exhibiting how song structure had clearly been more considered, how well the guitars are crafted and even how well it sounds sonically yet, how similar it sounds to the live version.
8 months after relentless touring, supports slots with The View and The 1975 and every music fan questioning; “When will this band get signed?” Communion Music, finally done the deed in what was an interesting business venture as Communion Music clearly has a taste for the more laid back, acoustic guitar music such as, The Cavemen, Willy Mason and Half Moon Run. Nevertheless, I think I can talk on behalf of every music fan and critic that it was a very good move. Shortly after pen had been put to paper the band released the beautiful single; “Homesick”, displaying a much more mellow sound to the band; this was counteracted much so by the B-Side “Pacifier” which was almost like Homesick’s, loud, fun and attention seeking twin. Last of the current releases would be “Rango” – this song is incredibly emotive, lyrically especially, without offending anyone, their singer, Van really opens up on this one – well worth a listen. I’d just like to finish up by pointing out that the last three songs were all released within the space of 6 months, hard work clearly pays off and the 4 boys from Llandudno are still touring!