After the success of their widely acclaimed Opposites (2013), Biffy Clyro are back on attack with Ellipsis (2016), a re-imagining of their sound and a coping mechanism against going mainstream and all that it entails.
Biffy Clyro may be a new name for some (especially outside of the UK), but Ellipsis is their seventh studio album. The Scottish power trio are as ambitious as they are talented, and when talent combines with hard work, it is often rewarded. Biffy Clyro‘s reward came in the form of multiple awards since about 2009-2010, becoming the darling band of the specialized rock press in the UK. Mercury Prizes, Kerrang! Awards, NME Awards… these guys have ’em all. And with the recognition, came the headlining. Leeds & Reading, Sonisphere, Wakestock, Radio 1 Big Weekend, stadium solo shows… they jumped out of the underground and into the collective mainstream.
This sort of hurricane derived in Opposites being an overly ambitious, anthemic record. It gathered mostly positive reviews from the British press, and hit number one in the charts. Although it wasn’t regarded as a masterpiece, it was enough to catapult Biffy Clyro into the British musical elite. This resulted relentless touring, and in the band taking 2015 off the spotlight. The product of this leap year is Ellipsis, a less-anthemic and more-sincere effort.
After a three-decade career, Biffy Clyro shows no signs of stupor, their music as fresh as ever. It may be less raw, but is, by no means, less interesting. Ellipsis is a biographical confessional including, but not limited to, Simon Neil‘s fight against his demons, which resurfaced after the explosion that Opposites ignited. It is divided in between festival headbangers and mellow, personal introspections.
The band’s sudden rise has not been without its fair share of detractors, but in true Clyro way, they only look up ahead. It is not easy for a band, and especially a pure rock and roll band, to endure the passing of the times. It is good, then, that Biffy Clyro keep reinventing themselves, never ones to be predictable, and soldier on.
Recommended tracks: Wolves of Winter, Animal Style, Re-arrange.
Catch Biffy Clyro on tour.
Listen to Ellipsis below.