Catfish and the Bottlemen
The Ride


2.0
poor

Review

by AngryJohnny USER (7 Reviews)
June 15th, 2016 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When you talk about nothing, you tend to lose me

Let’s just get one thing straight from the start. Catfish and the Bottlemen’s lead singer Van McCann is a woeful lyricist. You don’t really need to listen to their music to know this, seeing as McCann either thought up or went along with the name Catfish and the Bottlemen and wants us to all to believe that Van McCann is his real name. His abject lack of eloquence was laid bare on the first Catfish record, 2014’s tepid offering The Balcony. It was an album featuring clean guitars, precision engineered hooks and enough cringeworthy lines to make Fred Durst blush. A more textbook example of landfill indie would be hard to find, and The Ride has all the same pitfalls of its predecessor.

It doesn’t take long for the listener to notice that McCann hasn’t really come on much as a lyricist in the past couple of years. Opening track ‘7’ boasts the following chorus: ‘I never think through things, ‘cause I never get time, I don’t think things through’. This is, in no particular order, lazy, repetitive, devoid of meaning and grammatically offensive. I may not have been expecting much from this record, but a finished chorus to the first song would have been nice.

Lead single ‘Soundcheck’ isn’t a massive improvement. McCann kicks off with ‘Maybe I don’t act the way I used to, Because I don’t feel the same about you, In fact that’s a lie I want you’. I’d like to say something witty at this juncture, but that is totally ***. The rest of the song (and in fact the rest of the album for that matter) rambles on like a 14-year-old who isn’t particularly enjoying having to write poetry in an English lesson. There really isn’t a line anywhere that’s even decent, let alone memorable. If I was inclined to, I could pick out embarrassing lyrical excerpts from every song here seeing as the entire album is completely repetitive, tongue tied and incoherent.

To be fair, the band does a reasonable job of covering this up. The lyrics written down are far worse than they come across on the album, aided by the fact that McCann’s delivery isn’t half bad seeing as there is some passion involved. Musically, Catfish are completely unoriginal of course, sounding much like a lot of indie bands from the UK have sounded for the past decade or so. Nevertheless, it’s all done competently enough, and the band is certainly better at writing hooks than they are lyrics, something which has propelled The Ride to the top of the UK album charts in what has to go down as another blow to Western civilisation.

It is possible, if what McCann has to say is completely ignored, to pass a pleasantish half hour listening to this record. Unfortunately for Catfish and the Bottlemen though, they bring nothing original to the table and McCann’s lyrics are simply intolerable. Plenty of bands can write a catchy hook, and it’s depressing that this seems to be the only criteria for success in modern rock music. At everything else, Catfish and the Bottlemen are dreadful, and it seems like they know it, sticking to their strength and not trying to do anything original or say anything interesting. The Ride is one of the most insipid albums of the year.



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user ratings (67)
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
AngryJohnny
June 15th 2016


962 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is predictably bad.

Feedback appreciated as always

Tunaboy45
June 15th 2016


16788 Comments


fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck this band

Sinternet
June 15th 2016


20782 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

great review, awful band



band is like you combined all the cringy self-absorbedness of Noel Gallagher and the droll radio-friendly demeanor of 2007 era NME-core into one despisable output

Digging: Andy Stott - It Should Be Us

AngryJohnny
June 15th 2016


962 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Cheers man.

Not relevant to the review but for an idea of this band's sense of 'humour' consult this genuine merch stand of theirs https://twitter.com/grthdvd/status/486575500895457280



Now that's rock and roll!

Sinternet
June 15th 2016


20782 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

i have no words



it's like when americans try lad humour and spectacularly fail but the bad thing here is they are english and should know better

AngryJohnny
June 15th 2016


962 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I honestly think McCann has a mental age of about 13, how he's got to where he is astonishing.

And the worst thing is that they're now rich and successful and nothing anybody says will change that.

Instant 1 after seeing that photo? Perfectly understandable.

Feather
June 15th 2016


5505 Comments


I actually liked 7. Good review though, might check out the whole album, might skip it. I'm assuming 7 is enough for me to hear though.

Sinternet
June 15th 2016


20782 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

haha i checked a couple of songs and it was everything i hate about uk indie so i feel it's extra warranted



i mean, i'm just surprised that there's still a market for this kind of crap i thought it died out ages ago

jtswope
June 15th 2016


5788 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Anything and Oxygen were passable, but couldn't stand the rest.

AngryJohnny
June 15th 2016


962 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah I would say 7 is enough to get a sense of it, album isn't what you'd call varied



And agreed Sinternet, I wish this sort of thing wasn't still so successful

Feather
June 15th 2016


5505 Comments


He reaches the "20 year old girls who always need to be in a relationship" crowd very well

Skoop
June 16th 2016


2147 Comments


Gotta be honest, I enjoyed this.

Tunaboy45
June 16th 2016


16788 Comments


@Feather more like "16 year old girls who always need to be in a relationship"

Feather
June 17th 2016


5505 Comments


@Tuna 20 years old was in reference to a girl I know who likes this a lot, but yeah, 16 works as well haha

runaways
October 23rd 2016


683 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Honestly, this band has some bangers but this album is such shite. Like I know people hate The 1975 but at least they tried SOMETHING different with their new album. This is just pure, pure shit and I don't understand the appeal to teenage girls. There's just nothing exciting about this band whatsoever.

Tunaboy45
November 3rd 2016


16788 Comments


Heard Twice today, made me wince

AngryJohnny
November 7th 2016


962 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Me and my mate have been spending some time thinking up new (more accurate) names these guys could switch to.

Some of the best contenders: Dirty Sanchez and the Landfills, Knobjockey and the Choirboys, Skidmark and the Gluesniffers, Toothpick and the Rootin' Tootin' Dildoguns, Catfish Special and the Inevitable Jail Sentence

I need to get a job

Futures
December 4th 2017


9977 Comments


rules actually

oWhoadYo
January 25th 2019


2230 Comments


got free tickets to see these guys the other night. Jesus were they boring. Thank God it was free too, they only played 40 minutes(!!)



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