Don’t call it plagiarism, call it a promiscious idea. Just because someone sounds like someone else, it doesn’t mean that they stole the sound. These boys formed a band in 2007 but they have taken some serious time for creative process of making an album so it is no surprise that so much attention is given to details. Final product reached no 10 on UK Album chart and it received appraisals from the critics.
The production has no mistake. Arrangements are concise and coherent, songs are smoothing one after another in true indie rock tone. Amalgam of genres here – brit pop, rock n roll, pop elements. Notable influences by Mystery Jets and The Cribs gave us this reinterpreted, mature and potent album.
Main focus is on guitars perfectly followed by vocal of Van McCann who has britpop in his blood, which is especially easy to hear on a track called Kathleen. This is probably the best track on the album. Conceptualized as a love dedication, it functions as a love anthem with catchy chorus I’ve gotta give it to you, You give me problems, When you are not in the mood. Ok, how many of you did not identify with this? Anyone?
Homesick is another love-themed with some ironic parts such as See I’m not the type to call you up drunk. But I’ve got some lies to tell. Men-women relationships is a central topic, so there are mostly ballades on the album. They are not clichés, rather spectacular in is simplicity. Cocoon sounds like it came out from The Cribs Ignore the Ignorant.
Closing track Tyrants is a gorgeous ballade with one of the strongest lyrics on The Balcony. Catfish and The Bottleman know how to dive in indie rock ocean. They know how to ride a britpop boat. To be honest, nothing new here. We have already heard similar material from Mystery Jets and The Cribs. Nonetheless, these boys have deserved attention because they were honest about everything. I expect a lot from their sophomore album.