The Kilmarnock Rockers return with gritty ubiquity for their ninth album
After a 4 year hiatus – with the band creating their first soundtrack for drama film, Balance, Not Symmetry along the way – Biffy Clyro are back hoping to spark life lost this year with ‘A Celebration of Endings.’
When their lead single, “Instant History” was released earlier this year, many of their older fans from the likes of Puzzle and Only Revolutions may have been gutted to find out the bands’ new direction in style.
But, many were happy – and relieved, I might add – to find out that this wasn’t exactly true. Rather a way to rise in the charts, “Instant History” seems to be the odd one out on an album littered with hard trail-blazers that fit comfortably in the category of thumping hard rock.
With the likes of “North of no South” and “Weird Leisure” slotted in-between one another, it confirms what we already knew – the Scottish lads are back to what they are best at – producing buzzing stadium anthems that will always put you in one of those moods.
Slabs of repent and indignation are plastered throughout a tale – that is really a joyous occasion to celebrate the benefits of change.
This is not a love song …
… That was just a fazeBiffy Clyro, End Of, A Celebration of Endings – The band make sure to give a nod to their 2016 release, Ellipsis, an album littered with love ballads.
With Neil’s lyrical stunts from, “We know what we’re worth now…” on “North of no South” to the shift of “f_ck everybody!” at the final mark on “Cop Syrup” ….
where shall we start with this one?
The Track Listing
Every song in the track list is a flurry of surprising excitement.
Opening corker, “North of no South,” resembles something that can be taken directly off of Biffy’s debut, Puzzle, with its perpetual stabs and unpredictable torment of guitar playing.
It follows with “The Champ,” a sorrowful tale accompanied with soaring strings a-washed with blunt lyricism about the horrors of the Refugee Crisis that occurred back in 2015.
Belter titles, “Weird Leisure” and “Tiny Indoor Fireworks” (one of the best song titles going by the way) – depicting a rise of a new revolution through supporting fellow friends who were once lost – are on consistent repeat whilst walking through this album, with you having no choice but to keep coming back to them.
Edgy, catchy and beautifully Biffy-like, they encompass tempo thrills, half-time attempts and a boasting of emphatic choruses that reel you in to good ol’ sing along, like “ah, I’ve missed this..”
The pulse never falters as we’re pushed into, “Worst Type of Best Possible,” a wave of ups and downs from the get-go with their best efforts to make string bends go on for as long as they possibly can.
The soft and slow one (every album has one), “Space” gives us a quick breather before it again pulls us into the thump and thwack of “End Of,” a story seemingly about a close betrayal (“I would have fucking died for you, you wouldn’t know how to be a friend, you’re ill-prepared.”)
With “End Of” pulling us back to the triumphant intros from “Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies” and “Wolves of Winter,” Biff’s full circle from the ‘experimental phase’ has been achieved with the band back to their original sounds of grunting breakdowns and erratic transitions of sheer madness.
Conveying the strongest message on the album, “The Pink Limit,” encourages a gospel anthem to be echoed to the heavens with its high and mighty chorus (“Whatever you choose, you’ve got to live with it.”)
With “Opaque” not too dissimilar to the acoustics of “Machines,” this element does really feel like deja-vu – of course, the beautiful string sections in-between provide a bit of uniquity to an otherwise song that doesn’t really seem to be a part of it all.
Of course, it seems that all is lost with madness (“We’ve lived before and we’ll live again”) as wondrous final straw, “Cop Syrup” entirely gives up on this year.
There is a moment of sanctimonious beauty within the bridge, but is shown the exit door with a bowing out of some sorts from Simon Neil as he screeches “F_CK EVERYBODY” within a die-hard prog moment to sum up this albums’ grittiness perfectly.
There is something so wonderfully pure about this recent release – I just can’t quite suggest the reasons why.
I do know one thing – I am not missing Biffy Clyro perform these songs live next year.
That would be simply too good a thing to miss.