Kilmarnock rockers Biffy Clyro are one of the most beloved homegrown bands going, flying the flag not just for their native Scotland, but the UK as a whole
They’ve risen through the ranks over a 20-year career (beginning as school band Skrewfish in 1995), evolving from ragged post-hardcore types to the brooding stadium rockers we’ve come to know in recent years.
With their new seventh album this out today (July 8), titled Ellipsis, we embark on a retrospective of the Scottish rockers’ back catalogue so far.
Here are their previous six albums, ranked from worst to best.
Biffy’s most recent album before Ellipsis, this is arguably the band’s least impressive; a bloated attempt at a double album, stuffed with filler and not enough killer.
There’s a handful of good tracks on show though (‘Stingin’ Belle’, ‘Victory Over The Sun’ etc), but with a one-disc, 14-track version available, you wonder if the band themselves realised their wider effort contained too much fluff.
The fact that Infinity Land is often glossed over, even by fans of the band’s earlier output, speaks volumes. It captures Biffy in their gnarled, post-hardcore guise sure, but doesn’t quite know what to do with a format that had been stretched out over three albums by that point.
What results is an album that’s rough and ready, but not about to change the status quo any time soon.
This is the album where Biffy really embraced their newfound stadium rock credentials, and as such it’s often (unfairly) looked down upon by those into “the early stuff”.
Sure, it rocketed the band up festival bills, is clinically produced and The X-Factor’s Matt Cardle covered ‘Many of Horror’ and took it to a Christmas number 1, but it also features some excellenty crafted pop-rock songs, and ‘That Golden Rule’ is one of their best.
The Vertigo of Bliss
Possibly the most esoteric Biffy album you could ever hope to come across; melding a boatload of different influences into one noisy, post-hardcore ball of greatness.
Time signatures chop and change, dynamics switch from loud to quiet when you least expect it, and the whole thing amounts to one of the most forward-thinking albums of the band’s career.
‘Toys, Toys, Toys, Choke, Toys, Toys, Toys’ and ‘Questions and Answers’ couldn’t be further apart sonically, but they’re both amazing tracks.
Biffy Clyro’s debut still roars with all the ferocity of a jet engine to this day, 14 years on.
It’s rough, it’s ready, and it’ll certainly be surprising to hear if you’re only newly into the band, and are only familiar with their more recent, poppier stuff.
Among the chaos there’s a handful of tracks that hint at the pure songwriting potential, namely the numerically similar (but sonically different) ’27’ and ’57’, but it’s a brilliant, brash start. Nobody would have guessed the East Ayrshire rockers would one day headline festival bills.
Hands down Biffy’s most well-rounded album, Puzzle represents the moment the band went from blasting audiences’ ears with their scratchy alt rock at club shows to working their way up through the ranks to where they are today.
You may even have heard one of the songs on a Soccer AM goals compilation. That’s how you know a band’s made it.
Still retaining the jagged edge of their previous three, but loading it with a newfound warmth, extended the reach of their music no end, and rocketed the band to the heady heights they enjoy today. The quintessential Biffy album.
Biffy Clyro’s seventh studio album Ellipsis is released today, July 8