What did we expect from Catfish and the Bottlemen? They’ve been out of the studio for three years, and despite their popularity, there’s been little fanfare about their return with the single ‘Longshot’. Here’s why; it’s just not very good. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s half-arsed. This track is anything but a long shot to be honest, it’s incredibly safe.
They sound like a band that are clearly sick and tired of writing about the same old stuff after two crowd-pleasing records, but for some reason they’re carrying on regardless. The Llandudno band put in a hell of a lot of graft to get where they are, and fair play to them for that. However, you get the sense that they don’t want to lose their success after working so hard for it; and it means they’re too scared to try anything too different in case the people don’t like it.
One thing you could have said about Catfish before this is that they could fill a room with noise. Their songs were anthemic and really well-produced. Not this one. It could very easily be some dusty old demo that got binned a few years ago and somehow resurfaced. There’s very little energy to ‘Longshot’, and without energy Catfish don’t really have much else in their arsenal. I don’t know what happened in the making of this track, but the production is just as threadbare as the songwriting.
Back when ‘The Balcony’ first hit our ears in 2014, frontman Van McCann was evidently buzzing to show the world what he could do. He sung with pure emotion and passion. Fast forward to now though, and you can hear in his voice that he simply can’t be bothered anymore.
Seriously, how many more stories about chasing girls has he got left? By now he’s seemingly spent more time running around after the female of the species than Benny Hill. Saying that though, he doesn’t get much support from his band on ‘Longshot’ either; as they fail to put together any kind of interesting arrangement throughout the entire track.
McCann has said before that he doesn’t consider himself to be an artist, but I’m afraid that’s not a good enough excuse for lacking ambition. As with any band that never changes their sound, Catfish will either end up being forgotten or looked back upon as a joke if they carry on like this.
Whether you’re an artist or not, it’s still not dignified to continue to take money for something you evidently have no interest in anymore when you’ve got the opportunity to do something different. It’s shallow and it’s sad, and I’m running out of hope that Catfish can do better than this.