November is Awesome Part 2: Only Revolutions

27 Nov

It’s a bit special. Why?

It sounds gigantic

Only three people make up the bearded ranks of Biffy Clyro, which should be impossible considering the enormous sound they create. Take closer Whorses, which deceives you with trebly bass and almost spoken vocals before exploding in your face halfway through. It hits you like a tidal wave made of bricks and car doors.

I raved about That Golden Rule a while back when it was released as a single, and it’s got no less good. The orchestra that found it’s way onto this album is perfect, and takes the final riff of TGR from “ace” to “balls-out-epic”.

Other things that sound huge:

The Vocals

Despite being in a thick Scottish brogue, the singing on Only Revolutions is gorgeous. All three of the guys have voices that complement each other excellently, like on Bubbles where they switch from dreamlike to arena-filling harmonies in the space of a few bars.

What else? The vocal performance on both God & Satan and Many of Horror (the quieter ones) are as heartfelt as anything on previous sombre-fest album Puzzle, and drummer Ben Johnson’s falsetto in Cloud of Stink is both impressive range-wise and pretty hilarious to boot.

Easy Listening

Only Revolutions is like Taste The Difference steak – lean and delicious. It’s got a good twelve tracks but not one of them outstays its welcome. I love their earlier stuff but some of it, especially on The Vertigo of Bliss, dragged on a bit. Here, only two songs are over four minutes long, giving them a pop-like accessibility, and anything that makes Biffy more popular is a good thing in my book.

Pieces o’ flag

My frugal summer spending allowed me to splash out on the premium edition – £40 for the album on two formats, one of which I can’t play, several pages of sheet music I can’t read, a DVD, a pick too thin for me to play with comfortably, an art print signed by Storm Thorgerson (but, since there were 2,000 of these, eBay resale value is limited), a play along CD and a small part of the blue flag from the album artwork.

Despite all those negative modal verbs I think £40 was a great deal for all this Biffy stuff, especially the flag piece – after all, Biffy Clyro have supposedly hand-cut each part out themselves.

Though I suspect they got bored of kissing them before they got to my piece.

 

 

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