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Biffy Clyro’s ‘Opposites’: For people who take their rock music seriously

February 8, 2013


The Rock from Kilmarnock: drums, bass and guitar threesome consisting of twin ginger brothers and their tattoo-covered lead singer, Simon Neil.

If you have never heard of Biffy Clyro then you are part of a rather scarily large number of people who have yet to have their ears fondled by these lads surfeit of talent.

With a lead singer whose Scot-accented, accentuated singing voice cannot be mistaken for anybody else in the industry, Simon has penned a double album full of songs to satiate that craving for more Biffy music that those in the know have come to have repeatedly.

Audiences around the world have grown bigger and bigger for Biffy and Opposites, their latest release, is the album that will take them from opening for bands such as the Foo Fighters and Muse, to headlining stadiums and festivals. Musically they are easily on par with any of the big bands out there, and now they have the catalogue to prove it.

For Opposites, they’ve reteamed with Puzzles producer Garth Richardson to give us 22 songs designed to show the frustrations of touring, feeling lost in your own home and deciding that being “Les Mis” is no way to live your life when you are a rockstar.

“Different People” starts it all with a church organ bellowing out a rather ominous opening, but it morphs into a classic, grungy Biffy riff-driven anthemic tune, which is making me look foolish in traffic as I frantically play drums on my steering wheel, belting out “I am going home, forever and ever more, no I was never born, and there’s no such thing as home”.

(Ed’s note – Biffy can’t be blamed for you looking foolish in life, dude.)

The drumming is quality, and it should be, as in pure rock ‘n’ roll style, we are treated to an inside look into the drinking problem of Ben Johnston (iTunes documentary available with album download – do it) and how it influenced his being in the band and his performance.  My theory – it’s because he went bald and his twin brother gets to rock a Samson mop – enough to bum anyone out, thank your parents for the genes, lad.

The Making of Opposites

“The Fog” is awesome, it’s a song that will get lighters in the air as it builds and crashes into an operatic climax; disc one is far angrier and that’s what you want.

Disc two starts with single “Stingin’ Bell”, catchy as flu in mid-winter and the last 90 seconds of the song is pure instrumentally frantic Biffy. “Spanish Radio” has a mariachi band kicking it off and it all makes sense – don’t question the professionals when they are at work. Enjoy songs like “The Girl And His Cat” and “Little Hospitals” if you’re an older, wiser fan and fall for guilty pop pleasures like “Pocket” because a singalong is good for everyone at any time of the day.

Final Rating – It’s loaded, and on repeat, on every device I have that can play music. I’m armed to the ears with Biffy, and I’m sure I will annoy people constantly as I shamelessly punt this band at all turns.

Pub Trivia – Why the name Biffy Clyro? “Biffy is in fact the nickname of the spy who the James Bond novels were based on and Clyro is a town in Wales where both our families…used to go on holiday…” Mon the Biff!

Buy Opposites on iTunes.

Jay Clark

Jay Clark

Jay writes, resides in, and absorbs pop culture akin to it being a real job. A connoisseur of comics, good taste and The Goonies, JJ’s a musical zealot but don’t ask him to explain his penchant for obscure musical choices, because he will annoy you into getting it. He believes all movies should have a buddy cop dynamic to them, even sad dramatic ones.

His inherent love of sloppy gastronomy make childhood pictures “awkward” to look at, and his 6 year world tour of cultural discovery helped him realise there is no place like home, so he moved somewhere else. Cape Town has him now, much to his mother's despair. Remind him to call his Mother.

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