Anyone who’s wanted intricate, delicately structured rock songs has not looked for them from Catfish and the Bottlemen. However, for those of us who are satisfied with unapologetically brash, melodic pop-rock anthems, Catfish always hit the spot – and ‘Soundcheck’ is no exception.Van McCann works out his feelings in his classically sweet, cheeky lyrics: “I don’t feel the same about you – in fact that’s a lie / I want you”. Building up from the verse which echoes the intimacy of ‘Hourglass’, the chorus explodes into “I wanted everything at once”, giving us the live energy of The Balcony. The production sounds slightly less intense than hits like ‘Kathleen’, but like so many off the album, there’s no removing the track from their home, on tour (something I fantasise about seeing again faaar too often…).
Like a lot of Catfish songs, it’s a dedication to young love and its whirlwinds, but I think the lyrics in the first verse – like “I raced through soundcheck just to meet you on your fag break” – are some of their best. The disparity between the intimate song opening and the anthemic, festival chorus works in the song’s favour, with McCann’s recognisable voice changing energy just enough to suit it. The breakdown adds an kind of creepiness I haven’t heard from the band before, and maybe indicates a slight change in direction for their upcoming release. However, it’s nothing that Catfish and the Bottlemen fans will complain about – a fearless pop-rock banger complete with classic Catfish energy.