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Only Revolutions - Biffy Clyro

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Genre: Pop / Artist: Biffy Clyro / Audio CD released 2009-11-09 at 14th Floor Records

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      30.01.2013 13:41
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      Only Revolutions

      Biffy Clyro are a Scottish rock band, and "Only Revolutions" is their fifth studio album released back in 2009. Their newest album was put out just last week so I've revisited this CD to get back into their music again before purchasing the latest release. You can buy a new copy of "Only Revolutions" from www.amazon.co.uk for less than £5.00, and this is a worthwhile piece to add to any music collection. Despite their chart successes, Biffy Clyro seem to remain relatively unknown to the masses, and discovering them was a rare treat as their style is delightfully unique.

      1. "The Captain" 3:43
      The opening track to the album does a good job of capturing your attention from the start and inviting you in to listen to what will follow. It also sets the trend for the one of the main features throughout "Only Revolutions", and that is the killer chorus. As fits with Biffy's usual style, "The Captain" is quite lyrically creative. It doesn't really get going for me though until the chorus kicks in, with beautifully harmonised backing vocals that will definitely have you singing along.

      2. "That Golden Rule" 3:49
      This next track kicks things up a notch with heavier guitars and even a slight hint of punk flavouring with the yelling / chanting backing vocals. This song is energetic and melodic in turn, before developing into a dramatic instrumental section for the grand finale.

      3. "Bubbles" 5:01
      Bubbles is not only my favourite song from this album, but also ranked somewhere up there with my all-time favourite tracks ever. It showcases a combination of different stylistic pieces, beginning with a very simplistic background and lyrics arranged like rhyming couplets. This is a nod to Biffy Clyro's poetic song writing techniques. The song then develops with some fancier guitar skills through the bridge, before moving onto the highlight of the piece, which is of course the chorus. The lyrics are abstract as usual, but there is something about the vocal performance and precisely timed blending in of the backing vocals which makes this seem really emotive and I personally have found it quite moving particularly when performed live, as the vocals are so passionate and the imagery is vividly portrayed. The only down side is that the song then finishes off with a prolonged instrumental section which doesn't seem to go anywhere and merely drags on, ruining the previous mood.

      4. "God & Satan" 3:09
      "God & Satan" takes the album in another direction and features a much slower tempo with stripped back guitars and gentle vocals. The lyrics are the most important part of the song in this case, featuring a philosophical debate between the powers that may be above and below. Although this is a much softer song than you might expect from a rock band, it is powerful in its effect and shows some intelligent song writing skills have been applied to put across something very meaningful in a minimalistic way.

      5. "Born on a Horse" 2:49
      I think that this song jars against the previous one as it is so different in tone. This is a really quirky song that takes a comical look at Americans and their silly ways. I don't particularly like it as it lacks the catchy tune or sing-along lyrics that make the other tracks so appealing. A bit of a dud that in my opinion just doesn't fit with the rest of the album.

      6. "Mountains" 3:21
      This is one of the strongest tracks on the album. "Mountains" has a steady rhythmic backing that then blooms into a full-on epic chorus. The lyrics are full of creative imagery and delivered in a powerful, emotional way. You will want to sing or shout along! This was one of the better known single releases and I think it really shows off the band's unique style to full effect.

      7. "Shock Shock" 3:03
      Here we go back to more of a classic alternative rock style, with some strong guitar riffs and almost aggressive sounding lyrics. As a bit of a twist, the verses are faster paced with a heavier sound, and the chorus is softer and more melodic. Usually a softer verse will build up to a stronger chorus so this interesting choice gives a fresh sound to the track.

      8. "Many of Horror" 4:18
      "Many of Horror" is probably Biffy's most widely known track, as it was selected to be covered by X Factor winner Matt Cardle who then secured the Christmas number 1 slot with his version of the single back in 2010. I'm not sure why this song was chosen, but it was an interesting choice. The song was renamed "When We Collide" taking another of the lyrics from the song, possibly to make it sound more appealing to a wider audience. Amusingly, it's hard to discern the title lyric in Biffy's version, as his lovely Scottish accent turns it into "many of harrrrrr"! This is a finely crafted song which tackles the subject of a destructive relationship in a raw way. It is easy to connect with this song, and the toned down style allows you to focus on the meaning of the lyrics. I think it's a real shame that the original version of this song did not receive the same high status as the cover version, as it is a beautiful piece of work.

      9. "Booooom, Blast & Ruin" 3:16
      Another jump back into the dirtier, rock side of "Only Revolutions". This is quite a jaunty track with catchy guitar riffs and some charmingly bizarre lyrics thrown into the mix. Unfortunately, it has the hard task of following "Many of Horror", and doesn't seem to match up in terms of quality meaning that it seems more like filler material which is disappointing as I would usually expect the final few songs on an album to increase to a climactic high point, whereas this song comes across as being a bit meaningless.

      10. "Cloud of Stink" 2:55
      Picking up again, "Cloud of Stink" is a decent offering with a faster beat and a bit of a darker tone to it. The delivery of the lyrics is a little different as well, seeming edgier than the softer more melodic style in previous songs. I think this is a good catchy track which brings the pace back up and helps to re-engage my interest in the rest of the album.

      11. "Know Your Quarry" 3:29
      There is nothing about this song that stands out as being particularly special, but for some reason I still love it. I think that the lyrics appeal to the romantic side of my nature, and it has a nice uplifting feel which moves towards a positive close to the album. Diverting from their usual rock style, this song features an orchestral string section which adds another element to the album and shows how diverse their sound can be.

      12. "Whorses" 3:55
      The final piece is an average track all round. Things only really improve when it reaches the chorus and the guitars ramp up the energy levels. I like the lyrics here, they are as catchy and poetic as ever but the track just doesn't really deliver and I lose interest through the slower paced sections. Not the best ending, especially seeing as the track literally just dies out without a proper conclusion.

      Overall, "Only Revolutions" is arguably a great album with some moments of pure genius. Unfortunately for me, the album as a whole is let down by some unnecessarily meandering lulls which stop the powerful flow of this music. When I listen to this album I really ride along with the highs and find it quite evocative and emotive, but as the album progresses it gets "stuck" with low sections bringing those feelings down, and this means that I am effectively just waiting for the next song to come on, or for the build up to reach one of their rousing choruses. I'm really looking forward to checking out their new release, and would definitely recommend looking up "Only Revolutions" as well, particularly for the singles which were well chosen as stand-out tracks from the album.

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        23.07.2011 21:44
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        Same old brilliance by the Ayrshire born three man band

        As I have had to restart my reviewing on this site due to problems with my old account I felt it would be good to start by revisiting an old review I have done and improve its quality based on my experiences of the product since I wrote the original review about a year ago now. It is a CD from probably my favourite band of recent years however I can still offer a truthful and fair view even with my favouritism

        Now the Band Biffy Clyro a Scottish Rock Band caught my eye or should I say my ears a few years ago and I purchased their last album Puzzle just because there was an offer of 2 cd's for a tenner and I already chose one I wanted and couldn't decide on another so randomly chose it. However I was blown away by the mix of quite heavy rock tunes with a few more relaxed meaningful songs. From then on I have been waiting for their newest stuff and that arrived in 2009 in the shape of Only revolutions.

        The Mercury prize nominated album excited the fans but also filled their die hard old school fans with speculation as to whether they would return to their rough edged un-polished routes or continue too in their eyes "sell out" and become more main stream the answer is entirely up to the listener.

        The older stuff from their early years albums "Infinity Land" and "Blackened Sky" to name the first ones that pop to mind was far more jagged edged and raw with loud shouting and even louder guitar riffs however the newer albums puzzle and it would seem most of Only Revolutions is very tidy and more appealing to a wider audience.

        Below is the track list for the newest album from Biffy:

        The Captain
        That Golden Rule
        Bubbles
        God & Satan
        Born On A Horse
        Mountains
        Shock Shock
        Many Of Horror
        Booooom, Blast & Ruin
        Cloud Of Stink
        Know Your Quarry
        Whorses

        The album bursts into life at the beginning with The Captain a song they have now released as a single. It is a brilliantly lively song and has now become a favourite amongst those who have or plan to see them live The liveliness continues with golden rule and both the first two songs appear to be similar to older work and please adoring fans of past albums.

        The next song bubbles is in my eyes one of the catchiest of all 45 minutes of the album and offers a nice slight steadying of pace to set the listener up for the next song, the slow and almost acoustic God and Satan. This song shows that the Scottish Boys don't need to be shouting and jumping around to write a good catchy tune with great lyrics.

        The album offers brilliant songs however it must be said that in my opinion songs like "shock shock" and "boooom, blast and ruin" seem to be very bland and un-interesting compared to the songs they are wedged between as they offer nothing different to other stuff on the album.

        Having seen this band twice now live since I wrote the review I would like to add that alot of the songs featured appear even more beautiful sang in the lead singer Simon Neil's thick Scottish accent untuned and perfected as expected in the conditions of a recording studio.

        On this album are in terms of sales the bands two most successful releases "mountains" and "many of horror" both songs chorus will have you shouting them out loud after a few listens and have helped propel the band further into the mainstream spotlight and land them high profile support act spots and festival slots most notably supporting Muse and playing as surprise guests at Glastonbury.

        The song many of horror some may not recognise by its name however it is the original version of X-factor winner Matt Cardle's debut single when we collide and is a beautiful song about being in love with someone so much that even though you want to kill each other sometimes its worth it.

        Anyway enough of the mushy love stuff the album is a genuinely good rock album in a day and age diluted by alot of R and B, Pop and dance music.

        This album appears to have combined good lyrics, heavy bass and drum beats as well as loud riffs to please more of there older and harder to please fans whilst still being listenable too by the masses and even though one or two of the songs or unimpressive the Mercury prize, Number one album spot and their two most successful singles to date must back up my opinion....this is a great album.

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          26.06.2011 14:49
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          A great CD.

          Only Revolutions is the newest album from Ayrshire trio Biffy Clyro. Although it may be more commercial than previous albums, it still holds some of the fundamentals which make Biffy so unique. The odd time signatures and off-key endings remain along with the guttural Scottish vocals of Simon Neil.

          The heaviest song on the album is That Golden Rule, one which was released as a single. It is joined by songs which seem a little more 'pop' in style such as Bubbles and The Captain. God and Satan deals with the everlasting question of eternity and an afterlife, Born on a Horse is a cheap dig at American culture, Mountains is an epic struggle between two powers and Many of Horror is a song so heartfelt that it was chosen for X-Factor winner Matt Cardle's first single under the name 'When We Collide'.

          There is no one that should be unaware of Biffy Clyro. If you are curious about what all of the talk is about, and why Biffy have such a huge fan base, give this album a try. You are guaranteed to like something on it.

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            21.01.2011 00:36
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            A great rock album not to be missed!

            There's a band out there who sing with a Scottish accent but I'm not talking about the Proclaimers. For a start, their lead singer, Simon Neil, I'd say, was a wee bitty more attractive than the speccy twins of the Proclaimers (no offence to the boys). However, I'd like to think that Biffy Clyro, although not mainstream pop, may be on their way to gaining a cosy place as a beloved national treasure in Scotland, just like the Proclaimers. There's already a lot of support for this band with fans lovingly shouting 'Mon the Biffy!' at their gigs. Fact is, Biffy Clyro have been on the rise. In 2010, they were announced as a headlining act for Sonisphere 2011, their song 'Many of Horror' was chosen for the Xfactor winner (much to my surprise) and they were still riding high on the 2009 release of this smashing album 'Only Revolutions', an album which managed to top 'Puzzle', another album of theirs which I adore.

            I really wanted to slap Louis Walsh of the Xfactor last year. I caught a bit of the final and he referred to Biffy's song 'Many of Horrors' as a great contemporary pop song. Louis, learn your genres! However, he's right about one thing, it is a great song and there are a whole host of excellent songs on 'Only Revolutions'. These include...

            *~Many of Horrors~*

            I must admit I was a bit shocked when I heard they'd chosen this for one of the finalists songs on Xfactor, of all places. I don't really value the Xfactor judges knowledge of rock music very high. A few years ago Simon Cowell didn't even seem to know who Bullet for My Valentine were even though they have been rather prominent in the British rock scene for a while now. However, he did have to deal with a stroppy, talentless vocal therapist upon this occasion. Anyhow, back to the song in discussion. As much as I do enjoy Matt Cardles voice I do feel like Biffy Clyro were a bit cheated when he grabbed the Christmas number one in typical 'Simon-Cowell-rules-the-music-biz-fashion'. You really can't beat the original, the intensity and rough edges of Simon Neil's voice. It does feel like Matt Cardle has sanitized the song in a way, smoothed it out so it sounds like another pop recording. A bit depressing if you ask me. I urge anyone to get themselves a copy of Biffy's original.

            *~The Captain~*

            This song is the first track on the album and I consider this to be a very wise choice as it gives the album an explosive start. It definitely seems like the band understand how powerful this one is as an opener and it was the opening song for their Hogmanay gig in Edinburgh too. It's a song that's got a great energy - it's very uplifting.

            *~Mountains~*

            'Mountains' was the first Biffy song that I heard way back in 2008. I took to it instantly and I had it stuck in my head for a while (Quietly singing under your breath 'I am a mountain, I am the sea' is a bit bizarre for any passerby). It's got a great beat and a catchy chorus. Why I didn't then continue to find myself more Biffy tracks to listen to until 2010 was quite frankly idiotic.

            *~Bubbles~*

            I'm convinced that Neil Simon sounds very Scottish in this song, a true Kilmarnock man. I'm also convinced that this song is brilliant - a real head-bopping anthem of a track that shows the band at their best. It is also another crowd pleaser as their Hogmanay gig proved. I think almost everyone around me was singing along to this one. Love it!

            *~Whorses~*

            I have already spoken about 'Whorses' in my last review of 2010. It was a song that Biffy Clyro announced at the Hogmanay gig in Edinburgh as 'the last song you'll hear in 2010'. For me, it has a very reflective quality about it. In a way, it sort of set me up emotionally for 2011. It is both beautiful and uplifting and allowed me to feel very forward-thinking for the year ahead.

            *~God & Satan~*

            'I talk to God as much as I talk to Satan because I want to hear both sides'. I love this first line. 'God & Satan' is a song which begins with acoustic guitars and builds up into something bigger. It is a slower, more steady song on the album but has some very interesting perplexing lyrics.

            *~Born on a Horse~*

            I adore this song because it has a certain charm to it. I love how it opens up with the lyrics: 'I pronounce it Aluminium, because there's a 'I' next to the 'u' and 'm''. It sounds like they are giving an American a stern elocution lesson there (Learn to pronounce your words you Yankees). I do enjoy this song. I love the continuous 'groove' of the guitar throughout the majority of the track and I love the insanity of its lyrics. Lyrics that, I assume, may make perfect sense to the band but go completely over my head (Again, I must emphasise that I am not a great lyrics analyst).

            For me, the above tracks are the definite highlights of the album but that does not mean that I would rubbish the tracks that I have not mentioned. 'That Golden Rule', 'Shock Shock', 'Booooom, Blast and Ruin', 'Cloud of Stink' and 'Know your Quarry' are great stand alone tracks but not quite as magnificent, in my opinion as the tracks that I have reviewed.

            All in all, 'Only Revolutions' is a stellar album from one of the best Scottish musical acts that are around. It contains great songwriting (with smashing melodic hooks), great musicianship, the sexy Scottish vocals of a Mr Simon Neil and admittedly mind-boggling lyrics. It is a rock album that should not be missed!

            Vocals: 10/10
            Musicianship: 9/10
            Songwriting: 9/10
            Overall: 9.5/10

            *~Thank you very much for taking your time to read my review :-) x~*

            *~Also published on Ciao ~ January 2011~*

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              19.12.2010 19:56
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              The title sums it up - amazing!

              Today I am reviewing one of my very favourite albums, from Biffy Clyro, which is a Scottish rock band made up of three members; Simon Neil (guitar and lead vocals), James Johnston (bass and vocals) and Ben Johnston (drums and vocals). Their style has always been rock, sometimes even heavy rock. It is the kind of music you would expect to see on the music channels Scuzz and Kerrang.
              'Only Revolutions' is the band's fifth album, and in my opinion it is their best album so far - I hope there will be many more to come!

              I saw Biffy Clyro at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Bangor and I thought that they were absolutely amazing. I had heard a couple of their songs before I saw them, but it wasn't until I saw them live that I became such a big fan. They really won me over and for me where one of the highlights of the whole day. I bought their newest album shortly after seeing them, although the album was released in November 2009. I had very high expectations of what would be on the album, and I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed.

              The tracks on the album are:
              1. The Captain
              2. That Golden Rule
              3. Bubbles
              4 . God & Satan
              5. Born On A Horse
              6. Mountains
              7. Shock Shock
              8. Many Of Horror
              9. Booooom. Blast And Ruin
              10. Cloud Of Stink
              11. Know Your Quarry
              12. Whorses

              My favourite song at the moment is 'Many of Horror', you might know it as 'When We Collide' and it was used as the winner's song on the X Factor this year. Even though I thought Matt Cardle was good on the X Factor, compared to Biffy Clyro I don't think he is as good at singing it. That's only my opinion though, I appreciate that others may think differently. Then again I am extremely biased as I LOVE Biffy Clyro!
              I'm sure that anyone who likes rock or heavy rock will like this album. I think a lot of people who like pop will like it, too, because even though there are some guitar solos etc that make it fit into the rock/heavy rock genre, there are also some really catchy tunes and some really soft songs, for example 'Many of Horror' which is just gorgeous, in my opinion, and it is really nice and relaxing to listen to.

              All of the songs are in the rock genre, I would say 'That Golden Rule' is more heavy rock than the rest though. This track, like many of the others on the album, features a brilliant guitar solo at the end which I have heard people say demonstrates how Biffy Clyro would make an excellent metal band. There are some screamy bits in this, but there are also some great parts that are sung normally.
              I love the singing style throughout the whole album, the singer's Scottish accent really shines through and in my opinion it adds character to the songs and makes them seem more distinctive and unique.

              I'm trying to think of any disadvantages to this album but I just can't think of any. I think its fantastic. To me it is one of those albums that you can put on and just let it play, without wanting to skip past any songs. I could have it on repeat all week and I don't think I would ever get bored of listening to it.

              If you don't know any of their songs then I urge you to check them out on YouTube now, as I think you're missing out, even though I do appreciate that some people won't like them, anyone who likes rock music is sure to at least think that they have a few good songs. This band is amazing!

              Recommend it? YES!

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                21.10.2010 01:12
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                The awards and sales speak the truth, a great album

                As I am still very new to the world of reviewing I felt it time to test out my review skills further by reviewing an item by a band that I favour very much and seeing if I can still offer a truthful and fair view even with my favouritism

                Now the Band Biffy Clyro a Scottish Rock Band caught my eye or my ears should I say a few years ago and I purchased their last album Puzzle only to be blown away by the mix of quite heavy rock tunes with a few more relaxed meaningful songs. From then on I have been waiting for their newest stuff and that arrived in 2009 in the shape of Only revolutions.
                The Mercury prize nominated album excited the fans but also filled their die hard old school fans with speculation as to whether they would return to their rough edged un-polished routes or continue too in their eyes "sell out" and become more main stream the answer is entirely up to the listener.

                The older stuff from their early years albums "Infinity Land" and "Blackened Sky" to name the first ones that pop to mind was far more jagged edged and raw with loud shouting and even louder guitar riffs however the newer albums puzzle and it would seem most of Only Revolutions is very tidy and more appealing to a wider audience.
                Below is the track list for the newest album from Biffy:

                The Captain
                That Golden Rule
                Bubbles
                God & Satan
                Born On A Horse
                Mountains
                Shock Shock
                Many Of Horror
                Booooom, Blast & Ruin
                Cloud Of Stink
                Know Your Quarry
                Whorses

                The album bursts into life at the beginning with The Captain a song they have now released as a single. It is a brilliantly lively song and has now become a favourite amongst those who have or plan to see them live (me  ) The liveliness continues with golden rule and both the first two songs appear to be similar to older work and please adoring fans of past albums.

                The next song bubbles is in my eyes one of the catchiest of all 45 minutes of the album and offers a nice slight steadying of pace to set the listener up for the next song, the slow and almost acoustic God and Satan. This song shows that the Scottish Boys don't need to be shouting and jumping around to write a good catchy tune with great lyrics.

                The album offers brilliant songs however it must be said that in my opinion songs like "shock shock" and "boooom, blast and ruin" seem to be very bland and un-interesting compared to the songs they are wedged between as they offer nothing different to other stuff on the album.
                On this album are in terms of sales the bands two most successful releases "mountains" and "many of horror" both songs chorus will have you shouting them out loud after a few listens and have helped propel the band further into the mainstream spotlight and land them high profile support act spots and festival slots most notably supporting Muse and playing as surprise guests at Glastonbury.

                This album appears to have combined good lyrics, heavy bass and drum beats as well as loud riffs to please more of there older and harder to please fans whilst still being listenable too by the masses and even though one or two of the songs or unimpressive the Mercury prize, Number one album spot and their two most successful singles to date must back up my opinion....this is a great album.

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                  25.08.2010 17:53
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                  very good

                  I really enjoy listening to this album it is outside of what I would usually listen too. I love the lyrics of most of there songs particularly many of horror and God and Satan. although some of my friends find the accent of there lead singer irritating i feel that it adds to there songs and sets them apart from other bands. There is enough variety between the songs to keep it interesting to listen to all the way and my favourite song of the entire album is bubbles.
                  I recommend that people give this album a try even if they would not usually listen to this sort of music in summary the lyrics are excellent they have a good balance of songs although some people may find that golden rule to heavy for what is classed as pop by this site and I think as a whole package this is one of my favourite albums

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                    06.06.2010 21:24

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                    Super Album

                    Only Revolutions is the fifth studio album from Scottish alternative rock band Biffy Clyro. The album was released on 9th November 2009 and reached number eight in the UK album chart selling over 125,000 copies and being certified Gold.

                    Six singles were released off the album with Mountains and That Golden Rule being the most successful. Mountains peaked at 5th in the UK singles chart and That Golden Rule reaching number 10.

                    Only Revolutions was not as successful as Biffy Clyro's previous album Puzzle which reached number two in the UK album charts but in my opinion it is much better as the quality and consistency of tracks is much higher because on Puzzle I felt there was two brilliant songs but the rest were pretty average which isn't the case on Only Revolutions

                    I would certainly recommend this album to people as it as a great album with some great songs on.

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                    26.03.2010 15:15
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                    Something for everyone but maybe not enough

                    I've become a big fan of Biffy Clyro as they appear to be one of the few British bands to genuinely be able to rock a gig when I've seen them live. Their previous album Puzzle, received critical acclaim and catapaulted the band from a well kept secret to widespread popularity. It was with this in mind that I looked forward to the release of this album - Only Revolutions.

                    Whilst awaiting its release, the singles Mountains and That Golden Rule had been released. Both were very different tracks but summed up what was best about this band - an ability to produce some great and innovative modern rock songs alongside some quite tender slower tracks. Personally, I was always more of a fan of the harder edge of Biffy Clyro, so whilst I loved That Golden Rule, I only ever thought that Mountains was "alright."

                    The album itself starts with the third single released - The Captain. When I heard this track, I genuinely became quite despondant at the thought that Biffy had sold out and were clearly now just producing a mainstream pop album to maximise their sales and popularity. Fortunately, there are a few tracks along the way that swayed my opinion and shone a light where the old Biffy still was. Unfortunately, there were equally as many songs like The Captain which suggested that their new more mellow, mainstream vibe may yet win the day.

                    Ultimately, this album has something for everyone whether you're a new Biffy Clyro fan or prefer their older work. What it won't do, is please everyone.

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                      18.12.2009 17:05
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                      Biffy doing what Biffy does best.

                      BIFFY CLYRO - ONLY REVOLUTIONS (2009)

                      Biffy Clyro. Probably the best band in the UK at the moment! And that's saying something considering the current plethora of bands out there. But then whilst most are producing simple ballads and rhythms that equate to dullsville, there's something to be said about the Scottish three piece's own brand of quirky song-writing and complex tunes mitigated by Simon Neil's wonderful vocals and an undercurrent of edgy hard rock.

                      Only Revolutions is the bands fifth album and whilst it doesn't really get back to the twanging guitars, crazy bonkers chord changes and full-on rock out of Infinity Land or Vertigo Of Bliss, it certainly provides more than the samey-samey sound of previous album Puzzle. If anything, it melds the perfect fusion of the so called 'new' and 'old' Biffy. Only Revolutions still appeals to the know-nothing masses that lapped up Puzzle and the mainstreaming of the bands less conventional style, but it also encapsulates the wants and needs of the older, hardcore fan-base. On top of that they've also chucked in a couple of tracks that just adds to the wonderful diversity of Biffy's sound, making the album feel much more experimental in places.

                      Take opening track 'The Captain' for instance. Given a single release, it was perhaps a little too different (although obviously a Biffy tune owing to Simon's Scottish brogue) and cheesy that it flattered to deceive. Stuck at the front of the album though it just somehow... works! The upbeat trumpets and organ that compliments the deep bass and drumming makes for an overwhelmingly uplifting and truth be told, catchy track. A virtual 'welcome to the album - you're in for a surprise' if ever there was one.

                      'That Golden Rule' which follows is an entirely different cup of tea, though. It's the most old school Biffy on the album, hurtling long at an electric pace with completely bonkers lyrics seemingly at home in the cacophony of wonderful noise being made, before climaxing in a super ending as the twanging guitars battle it out against a full-blown orchestra. That Golden Rule absolutely rocks for all its worth and is easily one of the best tracks on the album. 'Bubbles', 'Shock Shock' and 'Cloud of Stink' are equally reminiscent of the older Biffy style and wouldn't look out of place on Vertigo Of Bliss. They're certainly harder edged guitar wise with some exquisite riffs, but at the same time have a little more subtlety than the full-on blast of That Golden Rule. The refinement of the play throughout these tracks is marvellous, although you can still bounce off the walls of your cell to them with a beaming grin on your face. Bubbles particularly, at five minutes and the longest track on the album, shines with quality throughout its runtime.

                      'Born On A Horse' is a little more from the leftfield. The funky base shouldn't work, and neither should the lyric "I pronounce it aluminium, 'Cause there's an I next to the U and M", but the good humour that seems to enthuse the track and the fact it's something largely different (and a little bit silly) from the Biffy back catalogue is what make it a winner. 'God And Satan' provides further respite from the hard edged rock and delivers a well crafted, slow building track (think Machines and Pause And Rewind) about the dichotomy between the two omnipotent forces. If anything it highlights that when needed, Simon can deliver meaningful spot-on lyrics above the quirky nonsense that Biffy are better known for. Indeed, this is even more recognisable in 'Many Of Horror', perhaps the best song on the album. Lyrically superb on the frailties of relationships that no longer seem to work, slow building to a cello enthused crescendo and a real emotional tug throughout, Many Of Horror is simply a beautiful, beautiful song.

                      A shame then that the track is placed two-thirds of the way through the album and not at the end where it would truly have stood out. Instead Only Revolutions peaks just a little too early. 'Boooom, Blast And Ruin' and 'Know Your Quarry', in consideration of what has gone before, are slightly 'meh' and have that same weirdly bland feel to them that encompassed most of Puzzle, and whilst 'Whorses' is on a level with 'Shock Shock' and 'Cloud of Stink' having it as the final track doesn't really do it justice. From the highs, of which there are many, the album slowly fizzles out come the end. This ensures that the song most likely to get the adulation from newer Biffy fans is 'Mountains', the bands most successful single so far, and not the sublime Many Of Horror. Mountains is very much one for the Puzzle brigade; although despite its apparent cheesiness and basic riff, its still a cracking good tune.

                      So, it's not the perfect album, but it is the perfect riposte to those who suggested that with Puzzle the band had sold out. Let's not forget, with Puzzle came a wider audience; with a wider audience comes a bigger fan-base to provide new tunes and to demonstrate you're not a one trick pony. Indeed, what's obvious with Only Revolutions after a couple of plays is the incredible range that Biffy Clyro have. They can do a decent pop-tune for the mass market; they can do the rock-tastic bouncing off the walls guitar blasts; they can do subtle, refined ballads; and they can disappear into the leftfield and pull some rabbits out of the hat. Most importantly, Biffy have managed to marry these sounds without making it seem forced or contrived. These tracks sound like true Biffy, rather than a band attempting to expand their sound at the expense of their creativity and personality. Bound from the shackles of Puzzle, Only Revolutions revels in the bands accomplished timing, the fusion of guitar, bass and drums, and the refinement with which they now wield these instruments (the production is ace). Of course more guitar riffs, complexity and rocktastic tunes are always welcome, but at least the band are nowhere near close to becoming stale. And at only 45 minutes long it's perfect for those of you with the attention span of a nano-second.

                      Overall - Better than Puzzle, almost on a par with Vertigo Of Bliss and Infinity Land. This is a top album from a band at the top of their game. Get. It. Now.

                      The Captain
                      That Golden Rule
                      Bubbles
                      God & Satan
                      Born On A Horse
                      Mountains
                      Shock Shock
                      Many Of Horror
                      Booooom, Blast & Ruin
                      Cloud Of Stink
                      Know Your Quarry
                      Whorses

                      © clownfoot. December 2009

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                    • Product Details

                      Disc #1 Tracklisting
                      1 The Captain
                      2 That Golden Rule
                      3 Bubbles
                      4 God & Satan
                      5 Born On A Horse
                      6 Mountains
                      7 Shock Shock
                      8 Many Of Horror
                      9 Booooom, Blast & Ruin
                      10 Cloud Of Stink
                      11 Know Your Quarry
                      12 Whorses