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Biffy Clyro – Opposites (Deluxe Edition)

The album opens with “Different People”. At over five minutes this is the longest track on the entire album. Not the traditional way of doing things, but Biffy fans wouldn’t expect anything different. They don’t expect some hard hitter to drag them in from the start, they’re already involved before the songs even begin. Might not be a great puller for audiences at large, but that isn’t a concern for the band. They know their catchier tunes can do the work in pulling newcomers in. The first half of the track is slow, but enjoyable. It sets you up nicely and, unsurprisingly, builds up to a much faster second half. The sound of the lead guitar in this part is very reminiscent of Biffy Clyro’s younger days. A nice warm-up for the album.

The album starts to grab your attention a bit more by the third track “Sounds Like Balloons”. The sticky and truncated guitar riff with the stop-start drum beat piques your interest and the couple of piano chords placed every so often are a great touch. Post that though the band revert back to their usual big chord choruses. A pattern begins to emerge and, this late in their career, it begins to become predictable and, frankly, tedious. The problem doesn’t abate bar a few flairs of departure here and there. “A Girl And His Cat” is one of the more interesting songs, but sure enough, soon just goes back to the Biffy chorus formula. “The Thaw” finishes the first disc and again proves the band don’t seem to know how to write a chorus that doesn’t sound like every other one. All of the other parts of the song around this track are great and hint at their being another side to the band waiting to be shown.

The second disc opens with “Stingin’” Belle and it’s clear we’ve got something different on our hands. The first disc has already slipped from the memory as though it was some joke. Nothing serious, just to whet our appetite for what the band was really building up to. The disc opener is a cracking song and really means business. The best song on the whole album, “Spanish Radio”, is on this disc as well, and even shows a real bit of originality for the band. It makes some use of classical Spanish scales and instruments to add a superb layer and all the while not sounding cheesy or forced. Any respite we get in the form of more ballad-type parts just doesn’t last for very long. They’re more like gasps of air before the album gets up and starts running again. Even the choruses on this disc seem to have that little something extra which sets them apart.

The second disc is just miles and miles better than the first. I can’t help but think that the first is just superfluous and we’d have a completely solid album without it. That isn’t too say any of the songs on the album are bad, far from it. They are all good tracks, it’s just that many of them have become predictable and, because of that, lazy. Either way, this is no departure from form for the band and although it might take a bit to drag new fans in, once they’re in they’ll be stuck.

Release Date: 28th January 2013

About Joshua Danton Boyd