My perception of what Biffy Clyro was going to sound like was, well, one hundred percent completely wrong. When the press from the UK started percolating about the band's latest album, Puzzle, I was a bit distracted and shrugged it off. When Tony Wilson brought the band to NYC for his In The City event, my curiosity finally got the best of me. I mean, if Tony Wilson digs 'em, they gotta be good, right?
When the normal British hype machines jump on board, there are typical genres and sounds that those bands sound like. Biffy Clyro shocked the hell out of me, as they definitely do not fit that mold. If you could put the catchy rock of the Foo Fighters in a blender with a heavy dose of Muse and a dash of Queen, you'd create the formula that is Puzzle.
The Scottish trio falls much more into mainstream rock than I typically find myself diving into, but for somebody like myself that would not change the radio if a Foo Fighters or Muse was on, this is an enjoyable record. In fact, now that bands such as Blue October and My Chemical Romance dominate the airwaves, I would welcome Biffy with open arms to my local FM rock station.
I do like bombastic rock. This was something that caused me to soil myself when first checking out Muse's masterpiece, Origin Of Symmetry. That album punches you in the face, chews you up and spits you out. The pipe organ insanity of "Megalomania" still ranks as one of my favorites. At times, Biffy tries a bit too hard to emulate this type of intensity, such as on the opening track, "Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies." I feel like Wayne and Garth are going to walk into my office and start lip-synching to "Bohemian Rhapsody." The opening abstract drumming and choir are just a bit to stomach, but once the track actually kicks in, all is forgiven.
"Saturday Superhouse" is a straightforward rock hit, fueled by Grohl guitar chords and a strong chorus. For a group of Scots, their sure sound American. They don't go full-throttle through the entire album, mellowing out a bit for "As Dust Dances." This sort of reminded me of bits and pieces of Oceansize, if they lessened on the prog and upped their hooks.
I have no doubt that these lads have the potential to achieve much success here in the States. They write melodic, catchy rock songs that fall into that tiny sliver of mainstream music that can appeal to youngsters as well as a portion of the indie music community. The Foos have walked that walk very well for many years, and Biffy Clyro could very well find themselves in their footsteps.
"Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies"