Why Catfish & The Bottlemen Might Be The Best Band In A Long, Long Time

Go back two years with me to 2014. A strangely named band emerges from seemingly out of nowhere with a humorous album artwork. Their name: Catfish And The Bottlemen. With such a title, what would they sound like?

Their debut album The Balcony released a long 7 years after the band originally formed and caused waves among music listeners. This isn’t an article about a band who didn’t make it but deserved it, it’s an article on a band that made it and stayed there – all deservedly so.

The Balcony had so many singles I thought they had used the entire album up. Each song told a story of love in light-hearted and sometimes funny ways. Every 3-4 minutes the listener is treated upon a mini-movie that lyricist and singer Ryan “Van” McCann has created. The songs are relatable.

Their new album The Ride came out on May 27 and I had my doubts. When a band puts out an incendiary debut effort, the term “sophomore slump” was born for examples like this. At the very least, bands can almost never top it, so it’s disappointing on some level. Well, despite reservations and worries, Catfish have put out something that stands with their debut in a triumphant fashion.

The differences with this album is noticeable mostly with the lyrical content. While there are the same fun songs like “Soundcheck,” “7,” and “Oxygen,” the album features a more angsty mood that triggers a different reaction. The top and prime example of this is “Red.”

As clever as ever with his words, Van sings lines like “Does he take you the Liquid Rooms after work/Just to unwind you but then goes and makes it worse/Can he do what I do for you?/I’ve not stopped thinking this shit since I come away.” The song has an infectious chorus of anger but don’t let it discourage you from listening to it. It still has that “!!” factor that makes Catfish what they are.

The last song is one to remember as well as it’s probably the heaviest we’ve seen from them. In addition, the album closes in the same way their former did – mid beat and cuts out. I’m not sure why they do it, it can be a little frustrating because I feel like we’re missing the latter part of each closing song, but either way – The Outside proves Catfish & The Bottlemen are here to stay and will to continue to produce music that should be the soundtrack of every experience in life.

Check them out,

Zac Zinn

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The Revival of Rock N Roll

To the next person that says rock n roll is dead, please stay away from me.
When Gene Simmons said it months ago, people freaked out, celebrities argued and everyone tweeted their faces off about it.
I decided to wait and gather my thoughts on the whole matter since I love rock n roll so much, I have the phrase tattooed on my arm.
The beginning of rock n roll can be traced back decade after decade and it begins at different places for different people.
For me, it began in 1968 with Led Zeppelin. It was the birth if blues played loud and heavy. There were slews of other bands that came out of the woodwork and proved that Zeppelin wasn’t the only band that had licks to kill. The Who, Deep Purple, ACDC,  The Rolling Stones, Thin Lizzy, Golden Earring, Mountain, The Doors and never forget the gods of metal, the forerunners – Black Sabbath.
Please allow me to tell you, all of you ROCK N ROLL IS NOT DEAD. Rarely will you hear it on the radio. The radio is a static noise frequency playing a rip off of a rip off. Rock n roll is an art that requires love and longing. You have to search for it.
If you want a Zeppelin/Free influenced band, search no further than Rival Sons.
Maybe Heart is your style. Then look up Blues Pills and be reborn in the 70’s.
A hybrid of bluesy rock n roll and Sabbath – Graveyard

I’m not here to promote bands that I love, I’m here to say that rock n roll is alive and well and it needs to be heard by more people. It lives in the local bars all over the country.
If you’re a fan of rock n roll, please don’t pass off these bands saying they’re just redoing what the masters did in the 60’s and 70’s. Yes – it’s true that the masters and origins lie in that period but we have innovators now just like we then.
When you listen to these bands, you have bands that are influenced by retro rock but it’s a brand of its own. It’s modern rock n roll. It’s a blend and brand of its own.

If you’re interested in finding more, here are some good starters
Stonerider – hard bluesy rock
Irene & The Sleepers – Light hearted rock n roll
Vidunder – blues infused chilled rock n roll
The Stone Foxes – If The Black Keys still played bluesy rock, this is what it would be
Kadavar – heavy 70’s rock with killer leads
The Sword – mixture of rock n roll and doom
Rival Sons – rock n roll in a pure form – features the best vocalist of this decade
Blues Pills – think Heart. Bluesy, female fronted rock n roll sure to get a few things moving
Witchcraft – Clean guitar driven rock n roll doom.

Guess what? A lot of these are from US.
Irene, Rival Sons, Stonerider, Stone Foxes, Sword all from the States.

That’s a good start.

Have anything to say? Maybe suggestions of your own? Comment it up!