The Manchester-based indie band are battling the rapper for number one UK album.
According to the official mid-week charts their record — More. Again. Forever. — is narrowly ahead.
Frontman Liam Fray today said he “felt sorry” for Eminem because he needed shock tactics to promote his 11th album, Music To Be Murdered By.
Lyrics in the track Unaccommodating have sparked widespread condemnation for the line: “I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’... Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert.”
The sound of an explosion is then heard.
Fray told the BBC: “It felt like an old comedian who can’t get on the telly anymore just saying something outrageous. I felt sorry for him.
"He's trying to be as outrageous as possible because he's running out of ideas, that's what it is.
"It's nothing else [but] shock value. You have to shock to be good - that's nonsense.”
Manchester mayor Andy Burnham is among those who have slammed the “unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful” verse.
Twenty-two people died when a bomb was detonated following Grande’s gig in May 2017.
The Courteeners were among the bands who helped to reopen the arena four months later, appearing at a benefit gig alongside Noel Gallagher, Blossoms and Rick Astley.
Eminem previously referenced the bombing in his 2018 Kick Off freestyle, rapping about a “suicide bomber seeing Ariana Grande... detonates the device”.
But he was officially thanked by Manchester council for encouraging fans to donate in support of victims’ families.