If we’re picking a champion, it’s Simon Neil who we want leading us into battle.
Label: Warner Bros. Records / 14th Floor Recordings
Released: 8th July 2016
In the build up to ‘Ellipsis’, we’ve heard a lot about how Biffy Clyro were trying new things. References to the madcap antics of Death Grips, the metal-for-people-who-like-to-be-smart of Deafhaeven – hell, even Tears For Fears got a name drop. Expecting something really quite different, yeah?
Well, nope. Not really. If you look hard, you can hear all these things and more – but however big and brash some of their influences are, none of them has a DNA quite as strong as Biffy themselves. While the mainstream world struggles to work out there are more than two bands from Scotland (the other is The Proclaimers, obviously), the Biff are owning their rights to the airwaves.
Course, there are experiments – the near MOR country of ‘Small Wishes’ is definitely coming from left-field for the band – but for the most part, it’s pedal to the floor. From the sugar-buzz energy rush of ‘Animal Style’, complete with its monkey see, monkey rock out backing vocals, there’s no chance of the charge slowing.
While Muse sit on the Glastonbury Main Stage, self-declared as Brit Rock’s flag-bearers, an obvious truth becomes even clearer. For a while now, Biffy Clyro have been on the same level of omnipresent dominance. With each and every album, the inevitable becomes more unavoidable. As the Teignmouth trio depart planet earth, Biffy are happy to get down and dirty. If we’re picking a champion, it’s Simon Neil who we want leading us into battle. As ‘On A Bang’ says best: “Why can’t you fucking do better?” Biffy certainly have. Stephen Ackroyd