Biffy Clyro, Only Revolutions, 2009, 14th Floor Records
That Golden Rule
God & Satan
Born on a Horse
Many of Horror
Booooom, Blast & Ruin
Cloud of Stink
Know Your Quarry
Scottish trio Biffy Clyro received a Mercury Music Prize nomination for this, their fifth album. They had been around since 1995, only achieving mainstream success with their previous album Puzzle
Opening track "The Captain" has an anthemic chorus that will really rock you out. It’s a brilliant start that seagues well into the album’s heaviest track "That Golden Rule". "Bubbles" then feels like a complete change in gear as it is much poppier, the guitar solo here comes courtesy of Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. "Acoustic God & Satan" slows everything down, but it’s a beautiful track and a nice interlude in an album that is otherwise very fast paced. That pace resumes again on "Born on a Horse", a song that contains one of my favourite lyrics of all time; “I pronounce it aluminium, cause there's an I next to the U and M. Now write it down slowly, and read it out fast” It’s got a fun electro vibe to it too. Love song "Mountains" is another one with a stadium worthy chorus. "Shock Shock" continues the anthemic sound. "Many of Horror" is now better known for being covered as an X-Factor winner’s single and becoming a Christmas number 1, but the original remains darkly beautiful and serves as another break from the rocky numbers. "Booooom, Blast & Ruin" is clearly here to get the rock back on for the end of the album and with it’s strong melody, it does its job perfectly. "Cloud of Stink" is just another all out rocker. "Know Your Quarry" is one of those songs you used to wave a lighter in the air to. It’s catchy though, and you can’t help but like it. "Whorses" closes the album at almost the same pace it started. Phew! I’m worn out from the frenetic energy of it all.
Only Revolutions is a brilliant album. It may not be particularly sparkly in lyrical terms but every track is good and nothing on there feels like filler. The changes in style do interrupt the flow but since each song stands up on its own, this is really a minor issue. It’s just a great, fast paced, hopeful sounding album to rock out too which still sounds fresh 11 years after it’s release. The orchestral touches don’t ever sound too overblown but rather enhance the sound overall. If you’ve never listened to Biffy Clyro, Only Revolutions could be the perfect introduction.