My experience with the Scotland trio limits to the kind that really suits them the best. I saw them at a stadium performance a few years ago, which is really the precise place their sound is tailored to. Biffy Clyro are no strangers to the big, anthemic alternative rock sound that has kept them relevant over the last two decades or so, and A Celebration of Endings falls right in line with the stadium rock performance style. The big, swooping choruses and the sing-along melodies provide a place where rock music can be accessible but still heavily guitar driven. If there's anything Biffy Clyro deserve respect for, it's keeping rock music breathing in a larger setting.
The accessibility of A Celebration of Endings comes both to the benefit and the detriment of the album. The songs are catchy and memorable, keeping the songs in a space where they can continue to be experienced without becoming tiresome. However, some of this comes from the lack of challenging moments across the album. Biffy Clyro are effectively spoon-feeding the listener these rock anthems, making the album an often easy listen. Rather than creating a demanding and daring project, they often lessen the density in favor of celebratory and feel-good performances.
That isn't to say these songs aren't still big. The Champ has some mixture of piano balladry, string arrangements, and larger than life guitar based choruses. Weird Leisure leads off with a earwormy guitar riff and yet another booming chorus. Instant History builds slowly, with some quiet synth bleeding under the guitar strokes and percussion, transitioning into the kind of chorus that a crowd would jump on. Cop Syrup is perhaps the heaviest of the entire track listing, with more dissonant guitar structures and effectively eye catching shouted vocals.
However, for every big moment you find that the massive sound is all structured around easy to digest songwriting and relatively simple chord patterns. It's the idea that the louder you can make the performance the more successful it becomes. Biffy Clyro certainly have a space they're welcome in within the rock community, especially with how sparsely populated it has become. It's just hard to justify the songs as anything more than inspirational anthems that could feel up the biggest arenas.
Favorite song: Instant History