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

Music Review – Stonerider – Hologram

Score – 4.5 outta 5

Rock ‘n’ roll is coming back, but it won’t be heard on the radio – not yet at least.

One of the bands bringing the blues infused rock back is a hidden gem named Stonerider. The boys in the Georgia based band have evolved from many different types of rock. Coming to the scene in 2008, they released Three Legs Of Trouble, which was a AC/DC – Jet inspired cock rock. Four years later they released the timeless Fountains Left To Wake which rekindled early 70’s – late 60’s rock. It’s classic tone and rock piano let listeners know they weren’t just a group with rock in them. They were a band with deep substance and roots into the soul.

What would they do next? Would they even put out another album? Surviving as an independent band is so difficult.

Another four years later, Hologram is released.

Stonerider has gone from cock rock, to soulful rock, to now, Pink Floyd-esque, organ blairing, vocal harmonizing rock. They’re proving again that whatever they set their minds to, they do it right.

Make no mistake that these guys are a rip off of whoever they are inspired by.

The title song is an awakening to what rock was intended to be. It’s not about sounding as heavy as possible, having tough guy vibes. It’s soul, it’s something you feel inside your chest when you hear that organ or guitar rip around, not for the sake of doing so, but stirring something inside. Drive around open roads in the middle of the night and listen to this album.

Highlight songs are War, Traffic, And Blind Faith, Your Chains, The Great Divide, and Undertow.

They play cock rock better than Jet, early rock to match bands like Kadavar or Horisont, and they released an album unrivaled by modern rock.

I can only hope the world is gifted by another album in the future.

Check this one out on their bandcamp and buy the CD.