Catfish And The Bottlemen - The Ride - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Catfish And The Bottlemen - The Ride

by Dan Clay Rating:5 Release Date:2016-05-27

Forgetting we may have moved on from Britpop, Welsh rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen’s debut, The Balcony, stubbornly refused to stray too far from a tried-and-tested formula, something it took Oasis a career to figure. The likes of ‘Kathleen’ and ‘Cocoon’ may have stood out as brash, swaggersome rock numbers worthy of their BBC Introducing acclaim but can they follow it up with something more substantial?

Well, lead single ‘Soundcheck’ certainly suggests so, with its thumping chorus and clashing guitar, and while album opener ‘7’ feels like a perfect driving song, sadly they’re the exception to the rule in what is basically another by-the-numbers indie album that really doesn’t offer much new in terms of melody while hoping a confident sense of swagger will see it through.

Which means we’re stuck with the likes of ‘Twice’ and ‘Postpone’, both of which feel like Charlatans b-sides, while the first of two acoustic numbers, ‘Glasgow’, seems out of place and lonesome on an album that mostly turns the volume up to 11 in the hope no-one will notice a real lack of imagination and spark.

Thankfully, then, the Oasis-esque ‘Oxygen’ breathes life into the album; something the equally poppy ‘Emily’ does too, suggesting dialling down the guitar fuzz at times and throwing some melodies into the mix will reap rewards.

No doubt a hoot live, it's a shame that a band with such a followingwho are actually able to, you know, play instruments and perform (a rarity these days in the lousy charts) can’t offer up something worthy of their confidence. Not quite bottled that lightning yet, then, although there’s no reason not to think they might do it some day. That might make it worth the ride.

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