A great rock-and-roll chorus is many things, but subtle isn’t one of them.
Take the hook of “Cocoon,” one of several singles off the debut album of Catfish & The Bottlemen: “Fuck it if they talk; fuck it if they try and get to us. ‘Cause I’d rather go blind than let you down.” Pair those lines with a soaring melody and some chugging guitars, and you’ve got the makings of a rock anthem, just add a crowd.
It’s a simple formula, but it’s working in spades for the Welsh quartet, fronted by the fast-talking 22-year-old Van McCann. His band’s first album, The Balcony, released last fall in the U.K. and in January stateside, is a tight 11-track set of gritty garage rock and huge choruses. It’s straightforward and catchy, and it’s proven to be polarizing: British magazines like NME and Q called the record dated and dull, but the band’s quickly swelling fanbase doesn’t seem to care.
“Magazines tell people what their favorite band is,” says McCann, calling from a tour stop in Belfast. “But with us, it’s people out on a Saturday night seeing us play, then telling their friends: ‘This is my new favorite band.’” Continue reading