Release date: 8th Junly 2016
So it is finally here. Catfish & The Bottlemen release second album ‘The Ride‘ after fan-apprehension grew steadily throughout 2016 with the release of hit singles ‘Soundcheck‘, ‘7‘ and ‘Twice‘. Their debut ‘The Balcony‘ was all about getting their name known, and letting us know what they’re about – rough around the edges rock that is going to conquer the UK. Now this album’s purpose is to cement their place as the UK’s leading indie-rock band and showcase how much they have grown, from arriving tentatively onto the scene, to having sold-out shows and gold album sales figures.
We start off with the two singles that fans have been singing along to for weeks in preparation for this release, ‘7‘ and ‘Twice‘. These are unsurprisingly two of the best singles on the album, full of buildup and blaring hooks. ‘Oxygen‘ is very reminiscent of what Oasis would be like if they were to write new material today while ‘Emily‘ gives an insight into travels to America and surprises in romantic endeavours. Nearing the end of this 11-track album, and so far we have had peaks and troffs, with all of the foundations from their debut, just when you think they are going to explode onto a huge level, Catfish’s efforts plato into an anti-climactic memory of ‘The Balcony‘. It is not all bad though, ‘Red‘ is a powerful hit all about growing up and second chances, with heavy bass drums and blaring vocals by McCann that leave us with insight into a romantic rival with lyrics “Can he do what I do for you?“. additionally,’Soundcheck‘ has an undertone similar to some early Strokes material, with CATB’s trademark touch flowing throughout.
These guys know how to make ear-catching, fun, quality hits that much is clear. This album is sure to do well, and get the band more sold-out gigs, possibly even allow them to spread their wings overseas more. The only question is, should ‘The Ride‘ achieve all this? This second album is slighty monotonous at times, making it hard to distinguish between this musical endeavour and their first, released two years ago. Catfish’ have so much potential and adventure inside, and at times throughout this album, you feel as if they are holding back. This disappointing lacking touch is actually done on purpose, as front-man of the band said when discussing ‘The Ride‘: “I feel like everybody started thinking too outside the box, trying to be arty and different…we wanted to stay inside the box“. Is this going to be a safety-guard that ensures sales, or their first and last creative mistake? Only time will tell.
Listen to it and make up your own mind on spotify