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Catfish and the Bottlemen “The Balance” Album Review

Catfish and the Bottlemen, an indie rock band from Wales, released their third studio album on April 26, 2019. This band has been together since 2007, and they have toured and played festivals around the world.

“The Balance” peaked at #2 in the UK charts, and this album continues the band’s distinct rock, alternative, and indie sound. Prior to the album’s release, Catfish and the Bottlemen released three singles, including “Longshot,” “Fluctuate,” and “2All.”

Catfish and the Bottlemen’s music is punchy, energetic, and anthem-like. On the instrumental level, the album delivers strong indie-rock rhythms. Then, coupled with emotional lyrics and topics of relationships, their music creates an enchanting and lively effect.

While listening straight through the album, it is clear to see this band’s unique sound. Catfish and the Bottlemen have refined their indie-rock brand with smooth guitar rhythms and exciting beats from the drums. With this album, some of the songs do begin to feel familiar in style, but I think that is simply because their sound is so refined. I do think there is merit in producing an album that reinforces a specific sound, but I also think it is refreshing to see some experimentation and blending of genres. On this album, the one song that is the most experimental is “Intermission.” Some have called this song “unncecessary,” but it remains one of my favorite songs from the album because it is so different.

Currently, Catfish and the Bottlemen are touring around the globe to promote this latest album. Back in March, I was able to see them perform at the Depot while they were in Salt Lake City. I initially began listening to Catfish and the Bottlemen when I was in high school, and I wanted to see them live because I had loved their music for so long. In their performance, they brought a ton of energy and their music felt designed for a live setting. With this great experience, I would highly recommend seeing Catfish and the Bottlemen in concert!

Off of “The Balance,” some of my favorite lyrics are:

  • “You stood beside myself / When I needed somebody who knows / Who knows just how to tell me how to get through tomorrow” – Conversation
  • “Textbook, I tried to count my blessings in the lift up” – Basically
  • “You text me saying save me / ‘Cause they’re trying to fill my head with all the same shit” – Coincide

My favorite songs from the album are:

  • Sidetrack
  • Mission
  • Overlap

Overall, “The Balance” is an energetic, emotional, and entertaining album.

If you’re looking for artists similar to Catfish and the Bottlemen, I’d recommend listening to The Vaccines, Foals, The Kooks, Arctic Monkeys, The Wombats, and Cage the Elephant.

If I were to give this album a rating, I would give it 4/5 stars. As individual singles, I love the energy that each song brings, but in a collection, I was hoping for a bit more experimentation or differentiation between each track. But, given that this is only the band’s third album, it is nice to see that they have a distinct sound that they can consistently deliver.


Images: 1, 2

Senior at the University of Utah studying English, Spanish, and Philosophy Passionate about art, grammar, and ethics
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