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Only Revolutions
Biffy Clyro Only Revolutions
Released 9 November 2009
Producer Garth Richardson
Label 14th Floor
Length 42:55
Genre Alternative rock
Website www.biffyclyro.com

Biffy Clyro, Scotland’s last great hope for global rock domination are back with their fifth album, Only Revolutions, and if they ever stood a chance of making it big on the other side of the Atlantic, this new album looks like being their best shot. Of course in saying this I don’t think this is the best Biffy album ever produced, far from it, but it is definitely their most commercial and solid throughout, reigning in the boundaries of the 12 tracks on Only Revolutions, as opposed to the lack of structure of the first three albums they produced. Being a fan of their previous efforts, I feel a little let down by Only Revolutions, but only because I was a big fan of the first three albums. The new album is not a complete change of direction for the Scot boys, it just sees them move a little farther down the road they took with their fourth effort Puzzle. That album veered a little away from their heavier sound, and Only Revolutions follows suit. It seems the boys learnt a lot from Puzzle as Only Revolutions is a much stronger effort. Literally every track could be released as a single, and there are some moments that only Biffy Clyro could produce, opener ‘The Captain’ with its soaring trumpets (that’s right soaring trumpets) and the album highlight ‘Know Your Quarry’ is classic Biffy, a track where there is an epic sound, produced in a minimal way, up there with ‘Only One Word Comes to Mind’ from their 3rd album Infinity Land.

That old Biffy sound producing moments where you’re left thinking ‘god that was ridiculous, but I liked it’, tracks like ‘Glitter and Trauma’ or ‘Bodies in Flight’ are few and far between here, and for me that’s why this album suffers. They just don’t sound as heavy as they used to. Granted ‘That Golden Rule’ and ‘Cloud of Stink’ are far from light, but they seem a little diluted when compared to older efforts. I don’t blame Biffy for this; they are just another example of a band whose sound is evolving. Only Revolutions is undoubtedly going to gain Biffy Clyro many new fans, but its major downside is that it runs the risk of alienating the very people that got them to where they are today. In saying that being a fan of the band myself, I still enjoyed the album a lot, and will most certainly buy their next effort.

- David Prendergast