Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
The great pull and the most stubborn of frictions in Catfish and the Bottlemen songs is the kind that comes when two people haven't a hint of where they stand with the other. It's the most agonizing state to be in - to have feelings and to have no goddamned idea where to place them, or if they're worth a shit. It's that feeling of curiosity and desperation that's been complicated by false starts and misplaced sentiments. It's never a smooth dance when two people think there might be something interesting or worthwhile in someone else, but it could mean nothing but a mistook twinkle.
They tend to keep their options open. They tend to keep themselves as guarded as they can stand and still - no matter what kind of work they put in - they're ripe for getting burned. No matter how old you are, we all wind up leaning a hand on a burner and getting the hell burnt out of it. We're foolish with where we place ourselves. We're foolish with how long we remain there or with someone. Sometimes we're just as foolish for how little of a chance we gave it to work out.
Welsh band Catfish and the Bottlemen, a group that's destined for big things, frames this up in roof-rattling, arena-worthy anthems. Lead singer Van McCann makes a big fuss about all the confusion going around, about the gripes and the craziness, stirring it all up into a gloriously melodic collection of shouting matches.