Album Reviews, Rock — February 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Review: Biffy Clyro – Opposites


Biffy Clyro_OppositesArtist Name: Biffy Clyro
Title Name: Opposites
Label: 14th Floor Records
Reviewed by: Jarrod Macartney


It has been over three years since we were singing along to the sounds of Mercury Prize nominated album Only Revolutions. The Scottish rockers have continued on with the same style as their previous LP while at the same time moving on with the next phase of their career. This time Biffy Clyro have opted for a bigger and longer release, in fact twenty songs long. The double-album concept album is not easy to pull off. The band had originally planned to make two separate albums over the course of time, The Sand at the Core of Our Bones and The Land at the End of Our Toes, but after realising the amount of quality content they had, they opted for the double-album. 

The Sand at the Core of Our Bones (Disc 1) is definitely the stronger half of the dual disc release. The album begins with a spine chilling intro featuring the echoing voice resembling pain within front man, Simon Neil. “I shouldn’t laugh/ but I know I’m a failure in your eyes” pleads Neil during the album’s lead single, Black Chandelier. Sounds Like Balloons would have fit in perfectly with Only Revolutions and follows Biffy’s UK top-charting formula with their off-beat guitar riffs and choiring choruses.

Biffy Clyro’s downward spiral theme carries on throughout the first disc, which is very apparent by the time you reach the album’s title track, a brilliant slow ballad “Opposites”. If The Sand at the Core of Our Bones contains a negative outlook, then The Land at the End of Our Toes is the opposite (hence the title!). Unfortunately The land… is not as strong, there was a reason why ‘Pocket’ was left off Only Revolution’s and the Scottish-trio should of left the bland track off their sixth LP as well; the song doesn’t add anything unique to this double album. At least ‘Spanish Radio’ tries to be unique with the inclusion of trumpets, therefore stands out with other key tracks such as ‘Trumpet Or Tap’ and ‘Accident Without Emergency’. The latter includes the line, “The light leaves me terrified / I hate when the darkness dies” which symbolises things looking up, and also sums up the positive songwriting featured on the ‘The land…’.

Apart from a handful of tracks on the second disc that could have been cut if the album was a single disc album, Opposites is a great listen. Though it makes you wonder how brilliant this release could have been if they had released Opposites with the best tunes of the two discs. With the album lasting for almost 80 minutes, it makes you realise that there is a reason why most albums are typically 10-13 tracks long and not the length of a Peter Jackson film. 


Biffy Clyro – Black Chandelier