Suddenly, this band’s name is on the tip of every indie-loving cat in town and out there on the ether. Catfish & the Bottlemen – “sounds like the name of some blues band or something, man was I wrong!” as one commentator on the band’s Rdio page deftly put it – is a band from Wales, a group of young men that clearly fell in love with the brief explosion of neo-garage rock that took place 10 years back, and found a way to add its own vernacular to the ongoing dialog.
Do you remember where you were the first time you heard the Strokes’ “Is This It”? That record did not exactly signal some sort of reinvention of the wheel, but it was exciting to hear a young band finding a new way to tell tried and tested stories with plenty of fire and a devil-may-care attitude. Spinning “The Balcony,” CATB’s debut full-length, I instantly recalled my first exposure to the Strokes, and not just because singer/guitarist Van McAnn sounds a lot like Julian Casablancas in spots, but because there’s fire, fury and melody in abundance here, and plenty of tunes that stick to the ribs. Many have suggested that “The Balcony” represents a tamed-down version of the Catfish sound, that the band needs to be seen live to be truly experienced, and a brief search of the band’s YouTube videos suggests this might indeed be the case.
That’s fine, because Catfish & the Bottlemen with Wild Party perform at 8 p.m. Saturday in Studio @ Waiting Room (343 Delaware Ave.). Tickets are $12 advance, $15 day of show.