Sunday Quarantunes: Ear Candy for Sheltering in Place (I Heart Biffy Clyro Edition)
Oh wonder of wonders, Sunday Quarantunes returns yet again, delivering a swift kick to the nads of our collective cool.
Is it just me, or does this dumpster fire of a calendar year just keep going and going and going and going…and going?!
It continues to be exceedingly frustrating to see neither hide nor hair of human empathy, curiosity and compassion. The word devoid comes to mind.
It’s an exhausting fight, folks. But we will press on! Time to pull our big kid pants on and make big changes around this country. Gotta secure those masks and get our social justice on!
That said, one must also take time out to replenish the generous reserves of rocket fuel and kick ass-ness that are imperative during times such as these.
Luckily for all of us, we have Biffy Clyro and the ever-magnificent Scottish trio just dropped their marvelous new LP A Celebration of Endings square in our laps precisely when we needed it most.
Thank you, you beautiful bastards!
Those of you who have been following these features with any regularity have been made well aware that I consider the Biff to pretty much be the very best band out there. Their catalogue has been a challenging follow from the jump. The early Biffy records are downright proggy, complicated endeavors and over the years they’ve been fine tuning and streamlining. The results have been astounding; from 2007’s Puzzle onward, Biffy’s records became these huge and anthemic explosions of arena sized emotions.
Not so coincidentally, they also shifted from being a consistently dependable theater act to a large scale arena rock festival headliner in many countries around the world.
Not yet in the U.S. mind you, but again, it’s a dumpster fire here so it makes sense.
I have a real soft spot in my heart for Biffy front-man Simon Neil. He is nothing if not an extremely conflicted human. He has found more uniquely stirring ways to examine the light and dark of the human experience than any other songwriter I can think of (although, I haven’t had my morning latte). A walking contradiction of tears and smiles, the man projects the bravest of curiosities and often jumps in the deep end of anxiety and sadness with no floaties.
Admittedly, A Celebration of Endings is a pompous-as-fuck name for a rock record, but don’t you dare let that deter you. One of the inexplicable truths about Biffy Clyro overall is that they somehow always make great records. Their current streak is downright uncanny and A Celebration… is preposterously good.
While I could go on and on (and have) about how good both Biffy and this record are, I’d rather you all just go listen to it so I’ll spare you the jibber-jabber.
The album has a little something for everybody, as these Biffy Clyro records often do. They always have heaps of rocking tracks, which often set up their mid-tempo stuff perfectly. With all of their bombast, it’s Biffy’s heartfelt and earnest moments that will really buckle the knees. In that regard, Space is the real stand-out on this record. It’s a lush direct arrow-to-the-heart of a love song. Special, special music, folks.
Opaque is another stunning number, featuring the fearless use of a string section as well as the word fuck in the chorus. Always a winning combination if you ask me.
If you listen to only one song from this record (a route that I implore you NOT to take), Cop Syrup is the one. There has never been a more Biffy song ever put to wax, it’s glorious! It’s over 6 minutes of battling back and forth between the heaviest Biffy has to offer and the most beautiful orchestration ever to be featured on one of their records. It shouldn’t work, but does and it will knock your socks clean off.
Look, I love Biffy Clyro with all of my being and I want you to love them, too.
I implore you to run, not walk to your most desired music delivery system, cue this LP up, and let the rest just happen to you.
You’ll thank me.