Biffy Clyro used to be my all time fav band when I was younger and just getting into music, they also produced my favourite album of all time, during that period, which was their double album Opposites (which I still really enjoy today). Biffy released a soundtrack last year, and I really enjoyed that, so I was excited to see what this new album would have, the lead single left me excited but sceptical but from both the rest of the singles and the album itself, this is some of their best material in a while for sure. Some of their best songs feature on this album.
North of No South is a very Biffy style opener. It’s loud, it’s anthemic, it’s Biffy fucking Clyro. I liked it a lot but I was worried that a lot of this album would sound identical to this, going for a pop rock sound and not changing things up enough… but boy was I wrong.
This features some of Biffy’s loudest and craziest material since Infinity Land, and it’s a sound I’ve been craving for oh so long. Songs like The Pink Limit and Cop sound so much like Biffy’s math-rock and heavy rock roots, it took me by complete surprise when they came on. Other songs too like Weird Leisure follow this style, opting to switch it up a bit, making a cleaner sound while still keeping that unpredictability going.
My biggest issues with this album lie in how unstructured the album feels, while it definitely feels like a Biffy album, it feels a bit all over the place and messy, songs like Instant History and The Champ being quite anthemic and different songs for the band, Instant History featuring a lot of synths and near to no guitars, The Champ being a sort of mocking of folk-y songs, similar to Small Wishes from their previous album, and similar to another song on this record. Tiny Indoor Fireworks is one of the weaker if not the weakest track on the record, due to it just not sounding like a Biffy Clyro song. While I can see it as a mocking of pop rock, it doesn’t feel like a mocking when the song just sounds identical to any other pop rock song, down to its lyrics. Small Wishes worked because it was outlandish and also a fun song, its lyrics were silly but well-done and it overall had a really nice vibe to it, this song doesn’t do that. It ends up just feeling shallow and like Biffy selling out more than a mocking of other people selling out.
Overall this is an incredibly solid release from Biffy, would I call it one of their best? Maybe not but, it has some of their best material to date, songs like Cop Syrup and Weird Leisure are some of the best songs they have ever released. I’m excited to see where they go from here, if they continue with the sound they curated in Instant History or if they’ll go a more rock-ish route. Or maybe take a complete left turn and go back to a more math-metal style sound, who knows, but I’m all for whatever they decide to do, because they haven’t missed yet.
Favourite Tracks: North of No South, Weird Leisure, Worst Type of Best Possible, Space, End Of, The Pink Limit, Cop Syrup
Least Favourite Tracks: Tiny Indoor Fireworks