After multiple tours, Catfish and The Bottlemen are back with their long awaited third album.

‘The Balance’ is a powerful return and fully captures the band’s ferocity, reflective lyrics and catchy tunes, all slickly arranged and delivered by Van McCann’s trademark self-assured vocals.

We open with ‘Longshot’, the single used to formally declare their comeback. Typically anthemic, it’s a bullet proof crowd pleaser to kick off their first album in three years.

A pulsating bass and drumbeat leads us into ‘Fluctuate’ with its explosive chorus. Throughout, the album is a swirling of contemplation and frenzy which is perfectly encapsulated by the driving riffs and basslines of the venomous yet inspiring ‘Sidetrack’, the stand-out track of the album.

That’s followed by ‘Encore’, another upbeat number with refined arrangements, a great hook and with the vocals taking over as the lead instrument.

You can only admire Catfish for the way they’ve prevailed and triumphed through a period where guitar bands have been derided or simply ignored. They have a tried and tested formula which continues to sound fresh and attract an ever expanding fan base.

‘The Balance’ is uplifting and radiates optimism through tracks like the energetic ‘Coincide’, a real stomper but still thoughtful and intimate. It’s more complete than their previous two albums and the ‘wall of sound’ effect tested out in a couple of numbers still maintains the rawness and the vitality that typifies their work.

I can only see this being another major success which will be lapped up and celebrated by stadium and festivalgoers all over the world.

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