Catfish and the Bottlemen - The Ride

HERE we have it.

Two years after their debut record and meteoric rise through the charts and indie rock scene, here is Catfish and the Bottlemen's 'difficult second album'.

It has been a long journey for the Llandudno four-piece who used to play shows at Friars Court.

Since winning over the radio and recently picking up a Brit Award for British Breakthrough Act, they have pretty much been working and touring non-stop.

But sadly, Catfish's new album, The Ride, lacks the anthemic quality of 2014's all-conquering The Balcony.

Most of the songs have a similar tempo aside from the slower 'Glasgow' and 'Heathrow' and there are few stand out tracks.

Even the record's lead single, Soundcheck, lacks the infectious charm of the band's older tunes like Kathleen, Cocoon and Pacifier.

All the songs are solid and enjoyable – the problem here is that none of them are truly great, at least by direct comparison to their own earlier work.

Catfish's signature guitar flourishes are present and correct but at times it feels like solos are thrown in for good measure rather than feeling like a natural part of the songs.

Van McCann remains an engaging frontman and singer and, if anything, there is more confidence in the 22-year-old's delivery here.

But it just feels like there is a lot less urgency in what he is singing about here which mostly seems to be a downbeat collection of relationship woes.

That is understandable in a way – Catfish's debut was the result of an unsigned band exploring their creativity for seven years.

Now they have to consider the glare of the media, legions of fans and record industry pressure.

No doubt, Catfish have a bright career ahead of them – this just is not one of the highlights.