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Easily my favourite of Biffy Clyro's efforts, infinity land is Biffy's 3rd album. The band are established and polished, whilst still with the rawness that is so evident. The contrast between complex and delicate melodies, with the the angsty vocals is what defines this album. 'Wave upon wave upon wave' epitomises this. Twangy guitars act as breaks between screaming, allowing definition and dramatic pause. Vocal melodies of 'ahh ahh ahh' are contrasted screaming 'WAAAVE UPON WAAAVE'
Deep, clear and poignant lyrics from Simon Neil give the superb music that supports it a sense of monumentality - it seems important. Again in the lyrics contrast is key! Meaningful lyrics are hidden under ambiguity. 'There's no such thing as a jaggy snake' is one of the tracks - who knows what this means. The song, though, is an epic. My greatest biffy moment was at Reading 10 where Biffy schocked their new mainstream following with this track. The shock on people's faces at the screaming oepning was priceless.
This album is a classic. The integrity of the old band was, arguably, jeopordised when they sold out to X-factor. However for me this album, nor album 1 and 2, will never lose it's appeal.
1. "Glitter and Trauma"
2. "Strung to Your Ribcage"
3. "My Recovery Injection"
4. "Got Wrong"
5. "The Atrocity"
6. "Some Kind of Wizard"
7. "Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave"
8. "Only One Word Comes to Mind"
9. "There's No Such Man as Crasp"
10. "There's No Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake"
11. "The Kids from Kibble and the Fist of Light"
12. "The Weapons Are Concealed"
13. "Pause It and Turn It Up"
While many will assume that Biffy Clyro's introduction to the main stream in 2007 that they were a completely new band. This couldn't be further from the truth. The 3 piece from Ayrshire in Scotland actually formed in 1995 as 15 year olds and started to record and tour albums. In fact Puzzle was to be the bands 4th studio release. It's the bands 2004 release Infinity Land that will form the topic of this review as it was the first album that brought Biffy to my attention.
The album itself was recorded in Monmouth in Wales as the band tried to create a different sound to the previous two albums. It seen the sound become a little heavier and perhaps a little darker in content but it's a move that seemed to work particularly well. It would far to say that this album changed the bands direction and more importantly the sound that would form much of not only this album but the subsequent release Puzzle.
Throughout the album the guitars really take the lead and set a very quick and upbeat tempo. The combination of lead guitar and the bass really create he bands sound. While the drums do provide a decent pace and add a nice tempo to the tracks but it's really the guitar and bass combo that gives the musical side of the band an identity. When you listen to any of the bands albums there are a few influences and slight similarities in sound to the likes of Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Metallica that are evident throughout the album.
While there are similarities in musical style to other bands that's where it ends and Biffy have a sound all of their own. That sound is backed by the vocals as the band share the responsibilities of singing on all the tracks. There is a very unique harmony between the vocals on this album and all three band members seem to complement each other incredibly well. In comparison to the previous albums the lyrical content like the music is a little darker but I feel that this really works and acted as a major point in the bands evolution.
I have to admit that this album did take me a little while to get into. I could hear bits of the album that I really enjoyed but the majority of it took a bit of time to grow on me. I knew there was something about this alb and he more I listened the more I started to enjoy the album. The albums opening track "Glitter and Trauma" is probably my favourite on the album. It opens with a very unique mixture of samples complimenting the guitars. It builds slowly and provides a nice introduction to the album and provides a good track to start with before the pace picks up and the album really gets going.
While the album took a little longer than expected to grow on me I think it would be fair to say that once it did it is apparent that this is a solid album. There is a nice combination of heavy rock songs with more melodic ballads that both seem to suit the band's sound particularly well. It showcases the fact that the band are just as comfortable with heavy tracks as they are with the acoustic side of things. There is a nice combination of the two types of track on this album that make it so enjoyable to listen to.
Overall this is a very good album. It hasn't had the same commercial success as the bands subsequent release Puzzle but there will have been a number of copies sold off the back of that albums success. I would think it's fair to say that this album has played a major part in the bands transition to where they are now. If you like Biffy Clyro's singles then you'll probably enjoy this album, but I think it's fair to say most of the bands fans will already have a copy of this. If you've only got Puzzle then chances are you'll enjoy this album.
Amazon Marketplace: £2.96
A fantastic slice of hard rock, Biffy Clyro show off their skills and stadium-worthy credentials on this electrifying record. In many ways a darker release than prior album 'The Vertigo of Bliss', 'Infinity Land' is a very interesting record and a seed for 'Puzzle' (their most recent release, and another triumph), in which their guitar-heavy style takes a natural evolutionary leap in both confidence and technique.
As ever, the three piece don't let up, with a veritable barrage of lightning fast guitars, careful drumming and key changes a-plenty. Listening something like the thinking man's Muse, it's hard to believe that Kilmarnock has produced such talented individuals (no hate mail please Kilmarnock residents!)
Lyrics are skilfully penned and swing wildly from the remarkably personal to more abstract musings from Neil. There are a host of tunes on this one that are ripe for download (if you're too mean to buy the full thing). Taking the time to track down 'Strung to your Ribcage', 'The Atrocity', 'Wave upon wave upon wave', 'There's no Such Man as Crasp' (sounds like an insane Christmas carol) is highly recommended. The last three tracks on the record are also particularly fine, although I'd opt for 'The Kids from the Kibble and the Fist of Light' if I was forced to choose one above the others.
Lose yourself in this wonderful gumbo of hard rock power chords, prog musings and indie sensibilities. Get yourself to the record store now! ----->> According to the deal box, those lovely people at Amazon are offering it for less than a fiver.
Biffy Clyro are a three piece band that originate from Ayrshire, Scotland, and are Simon Neil (vocals/guitar/songwriter), and brothers James (bass/vocals) and Ben Johnston (drum/vocals).
Biffy are unlike nearly any other rock band around, mixing blends of Nirvana to At The Drive In to even the likes of Rush as an influence to their sound. They refuse to follow any traditional music code and structure, but, in essence, this is what makes Biffy Clyro so interesting. It also makes them unique, especially to much of todays music.
'Infinity Land' is Biffy Clyro's third album, and was released in 2004. It shows massive developments in the bands talents which were first showcased in 2002's 'Blackened Sky', which, in itself, is an album that many bands would have struggled to follow up. Biffy did this, however, with 2003's awesome 'The Vertigo Of Bliss'. To match up to that, Biffy would need to do something amazing, and, in 'Infinity Land', they have produced that 'something amazing'.
The album opens with 'Glitter And Trauma', a song that possibly comes closes to giving the listener a view of what the album may sound like all through. It opens with a minute long techno type beat, before bursting in to a superb heavy guitar riff. After this, the track moves on to many different time changes, key changes and even a screaming section at the end. The song itself showcases some of the heavy and soft parts to Biffy's music, and is an essential track to the album, if not for just being an amazing opener.
Next up is 'Strung To Your Ribcage', which seems like a dark love song almost, with the lyric 'You complete me' sung over a stop start guitar riff. There is also a feeling of entrapment, 'It's like you're meant to be a hostage...', 'I take it for granted, that you'll feel at home'. Once again, as with 'Glitter And Trauma', there are time changes, and 'Strung To Your Ribcage' does sound almost as if it is three songs that have been taken apart and put together. However, somehow, it works.
'My Recovery Injection' follows, and produces possibly the most radio-friendly song from the album so far. Unsurprisingly selected as a single, 'My Recovery Injection' features a long intro (which was cut for the single/MTV video), but then bursts into a brilliant guitar riff that features Simon just doing quick pull offs on the same string over and over. Doesn't sound interesting in writing, but sounds amazing. A song that features all three band mates singing, it gives a feeling of anguish; 'you hide your scars so well', and even apathy; 'And nothing matters anymore'. It is a great song, and an obvious choice for single.
The song that follows, 'Got Wrong', takes on a different sound for Biffy. The guitar becomes much more detuned, and, for the first time on the album, except for the mid-section and just before the first verse, the time signature stays pretty much the same. 'Got Wrong' is a song that divides listeners. Some people rate it as the worst on the album, and it's easy to see why compared to the other songs technically, yet some people also say it is brilliant. Personally, I believe it is a great track. Once again comes the theme of relationships, 'got wrong...don't know why I take it out on you'. Much recommended song, though not an essential.
'The Atrocity' follows, and shows just how diverse Biffy can be. After what is, essentially, one of the heavies tracks on the album, they follow it with a piano lead track. Depressing, but hopeful, ('I don't wanna die...we can live forever') 'The Atrocity' is perhaps the underrated masterpiece of the album.
From quiet to loud, 'Some Kind Of Wizard' comes next. Once again experimenting in key and time structure changes, this shows yet again how Biffy make something work, even though, really, it shouldn't. The chorus to the song ('no sense makes sense, to me at all') is very catchy, and would have probably made the song a good single. It's a fan favourite, and it's easy to see why.
'Some Kind Of Wizard' is followed by, perhaps, the best song on the album, 'Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave'. Once again sounding like there have been about three songs put together, 'Wave...' works amazingly well. The lyrics are, once again, dark ('There's a knife in my hand/Covered in blood, can't understand'). The song features a great intro/verse/outro guitar riff, which includes, of all things, clapping, before moving in to a pre-chorus section that sounds like a wall of sound. The chorus itself, like the mid section/solo, is almost mystical, and intices you further in. An amazing song, and my personal highlight of 'Infinity Land'.
Another single, 'Only One Word Comes To Mind', follows. The song captures, near enough, the essence of grunge, and is, until the outro anyway, the most radio friendly song on the album. The song presents pain and hopelessness ('These words won't help you, if you're looking for answers'), but, somehow, sounds upbeat. A quiet song that bursts into a heavy breakdown at the end with Simon Neil screaming 'She's what I crave'. An obvious single choice, and a great song.
'There's No Such Man As Crasp'/'There's No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake' are two seperate tracks, although 'Crasp' is essentially an intro to 'Jaggy Snake', where all three band member sing harmony. 'Jaggy Snake' is a very heavy song, mixing many time signatures together and also featuring a harmony section. The first single off the album, debuted at a John Peel session, it is a fan favourite, and also a great track to let yourself go to.
'Kids From Kibble And The Fist Of Light' follows with a highly misleading, almost death metal sounding intro. Personally, I would have chosen this as a single. The song features, once again, many time signature changes, but it works. It works most beautifully in the mid section where a saxophone comes in before the band sing 'These strange explosions hit me like a fist of light'. A definite highlight on the album, and a much recommended track.
'The Weapons Are Concealed' opens with what sounds almost like a strange retro police show intro, but moves on to being another great track. Once again featuring prodominantly three sections, 'Weapons...' has no real chorus, and is a song built around dark lyrics again ('You with a smile on your face, me with a bag in it's place/ I've got a rope round my neck, I'm trying to win your respect'), it is another track that divides fans. However, as with 'Got Wrong', don't let it mislead you. This is a good song.
'Pause It And Turn It Up' ends the album. Sounding almost like U2 in places musically, 'Pause It...' is very different to everything else on the album. The theme of relationship problems seems evident again ('Wounds take time to heal'), but also insanity, or ignorance, as Simon sings 'I have an idea, about the voices I hear/ They're audible to everyone, everyone but me', before repeating 'turn it off'. A nice track to end on, unlike the hidden track 'Tradition Feed', whcih is a 'I'm sorry' note sung by Simon over possibly the weirdest guitar effects I've ever heard. Scary? Yes. Not easy to listen to at all.
Overall, 'Infinity Land' is an album I would recommend to anybody. It's different to almost everything out at the moment, and does not feature any bad tracks, hidden track an exception.
Brilliant album by a massively underrated band that deserve greatness.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Glitter And Trauma
2 Strung To Your Ribcage
3 My Recovery Injection
4 Got Wrong
5 The Atrocity
6 Some Kind Of Wizard
7 Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave
8 Only One Word Comes To Mind
9 Theres No Such Man As Crasp
10 Theres No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake
11 The Kids From Kibble And The Fist Of Light
12 The Weapons Are Concealed
13 Pause It And Turn It Up