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Biffy Clyro - A Celebration of Endings (Album Review)

Monday, 17 August 2020 Written by Sam Sleight

Back in 2002, Biffy Clyro’s debut record landed like a drop in the ocean as their contemporaries in bands such as Hundred Reasons and Reuben set high benchmarks for mathy post-hardcore. But by the time album four, 2007’s ‘Puzzle’, was ready for action, Biffy had cut ties with that scene and struck out along a road choked with accessible, stadium-conquering anthems. Quickly, they began to embody rock’s zeitgeist rather than following it.

With ‘A Celebration of Endings’ they take another step further away from their humble beginnings and into territories once unthinkable. The Scottish band’s ninth full-length dives deeper into the indie-pop aesthetic that they have been careening towards for the best part of a decade, balancing that out with some ravenous riffage for the old heads. 

Wisely, the LP eschews the swivel-eyed bombast of their late-2000s releases in favour of a sense of maturity and cohesion, simultaneously upping the pop ante while also maintaining their boisterously heavy flair.

With lush, full-bodied production courtesy of Rich Costey—who also helmed 2016’s more serene ‘Ellipsis’—the sub-drops and synths in lead single Instant History’s chorus underpin weighty and sincere song-writing. 

Biffy are clearly more comfortable working in the pop realm than on prior records and they readily turn their hand to a seemingly oppositional style, executing these songs with panache and verve.

The juxtaposition of the amorous Space with the spiky anti-love song End Of demonstrates a devious, meticulous way with structural choices, while the finale, Cop Syrup, stands as a nostalgia-adjacent post-hardcore highlight. Here, a manic verse performance from frontman Simon Neil brings a sense of pomp to proceedings, while a chorus built to decimate arenas, and a tender violin break, surely make it a potential set closer on par with their usual finale, Stingin’ Belle. 

‘A Celebration of Endings’ is certainly Biffy’s most cohesive record since ‘Only Revolutions’ landed more than a decade ago. The restraint involved in letting their flamboyant charm simmer below the surface shows the three-piece growing into their legacy with grace, meaning that it is also perhaps their best work since ‘Puzzle’.

Biffy Clyro Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun April 11 2021 - LIVERPOOL Liverpool Su Mountford Hall
Mon April 12 2021 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town
Tue April 13 2021 - CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange
Thu April 15 2021 - SHEFFIELD O2 Academy Sheffield
Fri April 16 2021 - SOUTHAMPTON O2 Guildhall
Sat April 17 2021 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol

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