Scots veterans turn up the orchestra knob and rock
Rating: 8 / 10
Edwin McFee, 25 Nov 2009
It may have taken them 14 or so years to get their shit together, but it looks like Scottish tunesmiths Biffy Clyro have finally produced the goods for their fifth record Only Revolutions. After flirting with both art-pop and prog rock, the trio have seemingly decided to capitalize on the commercial success of 2007’s flawed masterpiece Puzzle by turning their amps up to 11, roping in an orchestra and writing songs that make people want to rock.
In many ways Only Revolutions is the sound of a band at the height of their powers. While Puzzle was a dark affair (reflecting the effect of the death of frontman Simon Neil’s mother), this record is a triumphant celebration of all the good things in life. The fuzzy punk stomp of ‘That Golden Rule’ is a sonic fuck-you to the doubters, ‘Shock Shock’ is a future stadium anthem in the making and ‘Bubbles’ (featuring fret work by Josh Homme) manages to successfully tango with the space rock genre without sounding like utter donkey balls.
Throughou, you get the feeling that the ‘Biffy have decided that nothing is too O.T.T. (there’s more brass on ‘The Captain’ than there is on a Lou Bega single for instance) and they’re refining what they do best by making huge slabs of slacker rock (‘Booooom, Blast and Ruin’) and delicate, quirky acoustic jams (‘God & Satan’) for their faithful followers. If you’re not already a convert, then Only Revolutions is the record to make you fall under their spell.