Much like a fine wine or Emma Watson, the years have been kind to Biffy Clyro. Their albums have steadily gained the popularity their talent gained merit, culminating in 2010 when Only Revolutions went platinum. The reason for this status is clear; the trio the rock anthem formula solved. ‘Stingin’ Belle’, the lead track from Opposites, was proof that that touch has not deserted them and other releases such as ‘Black Chandelier and ‘Victory Over the Sun’, plus live performances only created further buzz about its imminent release. Originally pegged as a double release – The Land At The End Of Our Toes and The Sand At The Core Of Our Bones – those titles have become the names of the individual discs on the album.
Opposites plays out like any good show, starting out with a few slower numbers, building to a energetic middle with some hits, before bringing the house down with a crowd pleasing finale of ‘Picture A Knife Fight’ and ‘Woo Woo’ ‘Different People’ makes for the perfect intro – slow, sweet and showcasing Simon Neil’s vocal range, before the guitar riffs synonymous with the band kick in. Short and snappy lyrics brand both the track and the album as a whole. ‘Black Chandelier’ is a classic alt rock anthem, while ‘Sounds Like Balloons’ and ‘Victory Over The Sun’ have a mathrock element. ‘A Girl And His Cat’, meanwhile, has whiney inflections on it’s heartfelt lyrics.Yet for all its high points, there’s just too much filler to keep the momentum going across the expanded running time.
Is two discs self-indulgent overkill? Could Opposites have been condensed into 10 perfect tracks? The answer to both questions is probably yes. Many bands often need the double format to explore the vastness of their sound, to deal with a theme, and some have done it and triumphed (Smashing Pumpkins). Biffy Clyro, however, could have been wrapped it up in half the time. Die hard fans will love it, but the casual observer may find their attention waning.