ALBUM: Biffy Clyro – Ellipsis
July 18th, 2016
After a year off, Scottish alt rock trio Biffy Clyro are back with album number seven, ‘Ellipsis’. Lead single and album opener ‘Wolves Of Winter’ started doing the radio rounds in March. Though it starts with the phenomenal and classic Biffy epic rock we all know and desperately crave *BOOM* hard cut to punk *BOOM* cut back to epic rock *BOOM* weird falsetto wank rock *BOOM* some other obtuse genre.
What the hell, Biffy?! You’re better than this! ‘Wolves Of Winter’ feels like seven shitty songs crudely scotch-taped together like a last minute Mothers Day gift. What’s even more annoying is that Biffy are more than capable of pulling this kind of shit off, they just majorly dropped the ball here. Alas, ‘Wolves Of Winter’ is an unmitigated clusterfuck that refuses to gel, and is the musical equivalent of stepping on Lego. Oh, and that’s the only helping of Biffy epic rock across the whole album too.
This opener is just a painful warning of what is to come, as the rest of ‘Ellipsis’ is disappointing at best. Gone is the innovation and gravitas Biffy once held, only to be replaced with mainstream pap that makes them sound like a Scottish 5 Seconds Of Summer. Sure, there’s the odd glimmer of lyrical brilliance (see ‘Medicine’, ‘Friends And Enemies’, ‘Flammable’) here and there, but it’s bogged down in generic three chord nothingness.
These are the *ahem* ‘rockier’ songs of the album. Hell, even the grittier and heavier ‘On A Bang’ comes across as a messy, sweary, punk catastrophe, and this is meant to be their bread and butter.
Then there’s the softer than a candy floss duvet and equally as sugary sweet, ballad-esque, flaccid non-rock that poisons the album like ‘Polonium’. It’s hard to imagine what they were thinking when they wrote ‘Re-Arrange’, but it sounds like the floaty, inane soundtrack to a Stannah stairlift advert.
The final nail in the coffin is the inexplicable country number ‘Small Wishes’ which just highlights this ain’t an album for the fans, it’s for their parents. Like how Panic! At the Disco‘s ‘Pretty Odd’ pissed off a load of their fanbase by trying something different, Biffy aren’t trying anything bold or new. Hell, it seems like they’re not even trying. Even though the deluxe bonus track ‘In The Name Of The Wee Man’ is actually pretty damn good, it’s no way near enough to make up for the sub-standard, phoned in, uninspired wank rock that preceeds it.
The cover of ‘Ellipsis’ has the three band members pretending to be floating turds in a toilet bowl, and this is in essence what the album is. The ‘Bubbles’ that soared high and free have now been burst, and where once stood mighty ‘Mountains’ are now insignificant mole hills. For shame, Biffy. For shame.
Written by Andy Roberts (@Sassensquatch)