Alongside Deep Purple, the Pretenders, Kansas and The Killers, Biffy Clyro are one of many bands whose new album release has been delayed by Coronavirus. After a three month wait their ninth offering A Celebration of Endings has finally seen the light of day and it has a bit of everything; hooks, heaviness, ballads and weirdness.
Typifying the albums eclecticism is ‘Instant History’, a synthy EDM-esque pop song that served as the lead single. It had me slightly worried but as the hard, angry and jumpy second single ‘End of’ happily proves – it is not indicative of the album’s sound but an example of its variety. My favourite single ‘Tiny Indoor Fireworks’ is instantly likable and has hooks big and infectious enough to match ‘Howl’ from 2016s Ellipsis. This insatiable, arena sized beast is about having hope and trying your best in spite of everything seemingly going wrong. The latest single ‘Space’ is of the same ilk as ‘Many of Horror’, a touching ballad with a quiet start and lush, string laden crescendos. No doubt it will feature in many a wedding from now on.
This album traverses the many sonic landscapes of Biffy, with the end result a surprisingly coherent and immensely listenable 45 minutes. It goes from ‘Weird Leisure’, a boisterous rocker with a riff like velcro about a mate of frontman Simon Neil who fought cocaine addiction, to the prog rock inclinations of ‘Cop Syrup’. The latter transforms from angry pseudo metal with Simon defiantly screaming “Fuck everybody, woo!” to a soft, melodic and melancholic instrumental and is a superb curtain closer. With songs like ‘North of No South’ along the way, a radio friendly rocker with a huge chorus, euphoric harmonies and a subtle hint of Muse about it. Ignore the moaners, just like Muse in 2015 Biffy will set the main stage alight at Download next year.
A Celebration of Endings is a belter of a record with something for everyone; angry rockers, radio friendly bangers, touching ballads and proggy weirdness. Press play, sit back and enjoy.