When you consider London-based quartet Hunter & The Bear’s stirring mix of anthemic stadium rock and intelligent, intricate songwriting, it should come as little surprise to learn that Scottish alt.rock superstars are chief among their influences.
To celebrate their current UK tour, H&TB guitarist Jimmy joins us to talk us through the finest moments of one of the bands who have influenced them live – and on record – the most. You can check out their full tour dates and the video for single Paper Heart at the bottom of the page.
10) Howl (from Ellipsis, 2016)
“The new album is fantastic, firstly. This song sticks out for me because of the rhythm in the verses. It so shouldn’t sound great and groove like it does, but it does, and the chorus just soars. Classic Biff. The extension from chorus two onwards, too… I mean, it’s fucking fire. That line: ‘Why do you think that the world owes you…” It’s totally genius. The breakdown, the build up… It’s modern, vintage Biff in a nutshell. Class.”
9) Machines (from Puzzle, 2007)
“Puzzle is my favourite Biff record. This tune is just so real. It’s sad and helpless, which is just how it feels when it goes wrong. But it’s also subtly hopeful. ‘Take the pieces and build them skywards.’ God, it’s so great. This one kind of speaks for itself.
I’m just helplessly rambling. Yeah: Machines.”
8) Booooom, Blast & Ruin (from Only Revolutions, 2009)
“The version on that live album at Wembley is just the perfect way to start a show. That’s what this song is to me. The start of a sesh. Cheers Biff.”
7) There’s No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake (from Infinity Land, 2004)
“I mean, I think there’s nothing to say.
When we write, we really try to mix big, powerful riffs and lyrical hooks. This, although extreme, is a beautiful example of that. I also saw them in Glasgow one year on my birthday and during this song I was in a particularly good place. So-to-speak.”
6) Black Chandelier (from Opposites, 2013)
“Might seem silly as it’s number 6, but I think this is a perfect song. The lyric is so real, the bridge is hooky and the chorus just fucking pops. When we finished our album, we thought about how to move our music forward and this was definitely a song we spoke about. The soft/heavy ratio is bang on and the layers of cheeky guitars all the way through just make me smile. Full bass face throughout.”
- The 10 best Biffy Clyro songs picked by their tour manager Neil
- Our TeamRock+ offer just got bigger. And louder.
- The best Black Friday deals for music fans
- The A-Z guide to Biffy Clyro
5) Biblical (from Opposites, 2013)
“This is just hook city. I want to tattoo all the lyrics on my face. Another perfect example of soft/honest/heavy too. Another real influence to Hunter & The Bear – I can hear a lot of us in this song. That’s not intentional, just osmosis and a mutual love of a bang-over. I travelled to NY to watch Biffy this year – proper fanboy shit. This was the best song that night. It’s a pure anthem – we could change the world to this tune.”
4) 27 (from Blackened Sky, 2002)
“What a brilliant record! It’s right up there for me. It’s super cool that you can hear the modern Biff all those years ago. There’s so much difference and so much similarity. The tempo shifts, the production ethic, the screams… it’s just lit AF.”
3) Stingin’ Belle (from Opposites, 2013)
“So. Much. Beef. This is my go-to random house party queue song. ‘Grow some balls, and speak your mind, you think you’re cool like a porcupine…’ Yeah. That’s just so great. I’d vote for Simon if he ran for whatever, really.”
2) Bubbles (from Only Revolutions, 2009)
“What an absolute beltére! It’s really just got everything. The big breakdown-build-up near the end was something we thought about in writing songs that end with riffs. Fucking with time signatures and still keeping a groove, which is super important for us. Biffy always seem to nail that without that many listeners realising. This song is just too good. It’s sad and strong and it soars when you think it’s sinking. Wicked writing. The production is fire too.”
1) As Dust Danes (from Puzzle, 2007)
“This really is a special one. Easy for me to put at the top, [because it’s] just so ominous. It’s makes everything seem slow motion and when it finishes it makes you skip back. I just did that.”
Hunter & The Bear are on tour now – check out the full dates and the video for their single, Paper Heart, below.
24 Nov: The Fulford Arms, York, UK
25 Nov: The Harley, Sheffield, UK
26 Nov: Studio 2, Liverpool, UK
27 Nov: Bodega, Nottingham, UK
28 Nov: The Cookie, Leicester, UK
29 Nov: Portland Arms, Cambridge, UK
30 Nov: The Waterfront Studio, Norwich, UK