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Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis album review

Feisty seventh album from Scotland’s biggest musical export.

Biffy Clyro Ellipsis album cover

Precious few bands have enjoyed a more artistically satisfying and commercially successful decade than Biffy Clyro. They have graduated from cult alt.rock heroes to festival headliners over the course of three outstanding albums – 2007’s Puzzle, 2009’s Only Revolutions and 2013’s ambitious double set Opposites, their first UK chart-topper.

Mindful of becoming too comfortable in the mainstream, the Kilmarnock trio have talked up their seventh album as “fight rock, pint-in-the-face rock”, citing inspiration from acts as diverse as shoegaze metallers Deafheaven, hip-hop agitators Death Grips and er, Tears For Fears.

Recent converts need not be overly alarmed, however, for while Ellipsis contains some of the most aggressive material Biffy have yet recorded (Wolves Of Winter, the gloriously infectious Animal Style and On A Bang) there are equal measures of fragile beauty, not least the tender Re-Arrange, which would give their X Factor-approved ballad Many Of Horror a run for its money, were it not for dark lyrics such as ‘I’ve got a lot of rage, and I’m struggling with ways to control it’. Another triumph, then, on their upwards trajectory.

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.