15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2003
OK I'm not about to gush about how 'fantastic' this band are and give a totally biased review through adoration. Indeed, I'm too old for that.
Simply put, to those who haven't heard them, and despite what some toilet paper music magazines would have you believe, Biffy are a breath of fresh air. In a time of predictable, trendy rock music, their songs (and live performances) show a creative flair which is distinctly lacking in most modern bands.
Not all of their songs are instantly 'accessible', having strange timings and quirky riffs, but it's these little turns which, in the end, make the album so enjoyable.
Vertigo of Bliss is perhaps less accessible than Blackened Sky, and has more of the beautifully twisty turny guitar work and epic song-feel of, say, Kill The Old Torture Their Young.
The token single is there, ironically perhaps the most average track on the album, and although it's alright, it isn't a good song to judge the rest by.
It also isn't fair to compare Biffy to bands like Nirvana or the Pixies as you can always make that comparison with any band. Biffy's formula of pretty-pick loud-riff has been done before, but there's an extra ingredient in there somewhere which makes them stand out.
I've seen the band play many times and always leave impressed, wondering what it actually takes to get people to go out there and support the most exciting band I've ever heard from the UK.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2003
"The Vertigo of Bliss" is the follow up to Biffy Clyro's debut "Blackened Sky" from 2001. Released this year amid an increasingly tiresome mainstream and an infuriating bent on reality, this album is a perfect device for scrambling one's perceptions and funnelling them through a meticulously constructed pipeline of concepts, emotions and themes.
Branded with the usual , Biffy Clyro are "nu-metal", "emocore", "punk", butwhatever the hell is written about them matters little. The Opening track ("Bodies In Flight") sets a precedent of Biffy at their frantic best. Mixing a monstously loud array of distorted guitars ("Now The Action Is On Fire!") with a tender, lilting celtic clean tone; Biffy Clyro weave melodies that tease the ear before flattening the listener with a hammer punch of caustic guitar riffage ("A Day Of...").
Which is no mean feat considering that Biffy are a somewhat understated three piece from deepest darkest Scotland. Formed in "mid-1990s" from frontman Simon Neil and his rythm section of the Johnston brothers , three way vocals are the order of the day. These are revealed as insprining harmonies ("All The Way Down: Prologue Chapter 1") and schizophrenic banshee screams ("Toys, Toys, Toys, Choke, Toys, Toys, Toys").
Singles "The Ideal Height" and "Questions And Answers" have gleaned fair coverage on MTV2 whilst gracing the Top 40 on both occasions, the new single "Eradicate The Doubt" out September 22nd will jab it's quarter inch fishing hook through your ear and point blank REFUSE to let go before exploding in a earth shattering manifestation of rage. The last few bars are VISCERAL. Think Glassjaw riffage minus the warped painkillers, mix it with the dynamic capacity of System Of A Down and you KNOW it works!
I advise that people listen to Biffy Clyro. They will be impressed, if not indoctrinated.
Bee Lee J Everson.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2003
While not quite as consistant as 'Blackened Sky', this is still a very strong album. They seem to have moved away from the 'chordal' riffing that filled up their first album and have replaced it with more experimental 'single-string' riffs. The point being; their sound has progressed, bost in terms of melody and song-structure.
When the Biffy rock, they're fantastically innovative and impressive ('Toys, Toys, Toys, Choke, Toys, Toys' and 'A Man Of His Appalling Posture') and when they decide to turn the volume down slightly ('Diary Of Always','Questions & Answers') they are still an incredibly powerful songwriting unit. The orchestra on 'With Aplomb' and 'Now the Action is on Fire' both enhance the song as a whole without giving it an overproduced feel.
This album is a complete gem, although I do personally think that the album is a track or two too long. Still, it gives us all hope for the future. British music isn't all retro-rock and watered down emo.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2003
Ok, I will admit that I am a new-comer to the followers of Biffy Clyro, and I have yet to aquire their debut album (which I will do very soon), but from where I am standing, Biffy are an absolutely outstanding and energetic band hailing from Scotland, and all I can do is hope they rage on to massive success and appraisal for this superb audio offering. This album has been the only record in my CD player for a week it is so good. Their originality but true quality makes tracks irresistable and I grew to love this record within the first or second hearing.
1) BODIES IN FLIGHT - a good song, quite heavy, it (like many other tracks) manage to be heavy and melodic and angsty with the occasional shouts but also tuned singing.
2) THE IDEAL HEIGHT - a very cool intro, that changes into this amazing song, with a catchy chorus that sticks in your mind., "How well do you think that you know me?"
3) WITH APLOMB - classic. It has the greatest ochestral instrumental that makes your heart speed up and stops you from whatever you're doing to listen halfway through.
4) A DAY OF... - A good song. Doesn't neccissarily stand out, but still with a good sound to get into. It's melodic but furious.
5) LIBERATE THE ILLITERATE... - another track that can't decide if it's heavy or calm. It's another rollercoaster song that takes you along with ease.
6) DIARY OF ALWAYS - my least favourite song. The song itself is good, but it's the drone of "I just wish we all could betray" that goes on throughout that eventually makes the song so repetative you have to ff
7) QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - The reason why I bought TVOB. Pure genius.
8) ERADICATE THE DOUBT - rumoured to be the next single. It's a nice little song at the beginning and then kicks into a pounding track. Should do well as a single, it's definately got the qualities.
9) WHEN THE FRACTIONS FRACTIONED - a melodic song, but still good and the vocals are nice. Not a very stand-out track but still worth good listening
10) TOYS, TOYS, TOYS... - interesting and slightly sinister intro, this song proves to be powerful and emotional
11) ALL THE WAY DOWN - the most amazing song. It's so beautiful and creative and spin-tingling. Everytime I listen to it I always get the same effect, it's just the most gorgeous track.
12) A MAN OF HIS APPALING POSTURE - nice song, but not that great. It's not bad, but by this time the method of rollercoaster-ing songs is getting old.
13) NOW THE ACTION IS ON FIRE! - one of the best enders. You can tell how fabulous it's going to be just before the first 30 seconds is over, "They say it's all right - burn the action now, tell me how you feel". It's a truly amazing and experimental song that fits like a jigsaw, but you never would expect it to piece together properly.
Definately buy this album. True, sometimes the songs get samey, but there are some shining classics on this record that you would be sad to miss.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2003
After being forced to listen to 'Blackened Sky' by a friend, i instantly loved Biffy Clyro's beautiful melodies and lyrics, contrasting with the bursts of screaming rock.After seeing the band live, and hearing some of the songs that would appear on 'The Vertigo Of Bliss', I knew the boys were onto another winner. This record has much more variety than the previous album, including the introduction of flowing strings on 'With Ablomb'.The band's progression can be easily heard, and their abillity to write stunning songs remains unchanged. Overall, this album is a definate must have for Biffy Fans, and anyone wanting to hear something a bit different, and very special. Highlights include 'All the Way Down' 'Questions and Answers' and 'Toys Toys Toys Choke Toys Toys Toys'
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2004
if your a fan of what i can only describe as 'real' music,not the pretentious,pompous music championed by NME and various other fashion magazines,then please look no further than the incredible Biffy Clyro.recorded in a single day this album for me has no weak points whatsoever and displays how fresh the 'usual' instrumentation of guitar,bass and drums can really be.have a listen to a few of the tracks to see what i mean,i promise you this album will stick with you forever.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2003
Amazing in all the right ways, 2nd albums don't come much better than this. Biffy have crammed this album full to the brim of invention in every way - there are moments of schitzophrenic guitar plus ridiculously abrasive violins in tracks such as "Now the Action is On Fire" that sit alongside power-pop singles like "Questions and Answers" without seeming out of place. "With Aplomb" even showcases a ballad mentality not a thousand miles away from a slow Metallica number, reaching into a chorus that could have been snatched from the Coors! But if that sounds terrible, it's saved by the imaginative production and that slight sense of obstinacy that seems to sit in the background, stopping the band from ever being predictable. And that's the main strength of Biffy Clyro - when you think you're going to get straightforward post-hardcore you never do. This band beats most of the yanks at their own game without falling into any of the standard emo clichés a la Thursday. There is nothing stopping this band from conquering the world, if their intelligence and musical wit isn't too much for a populace that thinks Linkin Park equates good rock music.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2003
Although receiving mixed reviews I believe this album to be an excellent step forward for Biffy Clyro from "Blackened Sky".
The songs are far more developed and the ideas and tunes seem to be even more thought out and planned. Most notably, Sean Neil's guitar work and song-writing skills have blossomed into creating even more epic rock than Biffy had before. "Liberate the Illiterate" is a great rock tune, with lovely harmonies; "With Aplomb" and "All the way Down" are musically breathtaking alongside the two singles they have released. The drummer does an amazing job of singing the harmonies - if you see this band live as I have three times, the hairs on the back of your neck will stand on end as you witness him pounding the drums with all his might AND singing (choruses as well).
The main thing with Biffy for me is the atmosphere that their music creates, in a similar way to Tool's, and with this album they continue to do so. If you're a fan buy it. If you want something new and exciting to listen to - BUY THIS ALBUM. You'll love it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2003
this album is great no matter what anyone else says.
there is a variety of different styles adapted into this album showing that biffy have excelled in the music.
tracks like a diary of always and with aplomb show the changes that they have made and these changes improve their sound!
i do agree that most of the songs on the album are hard to adapt to as they have complicated song structures. but once you are used to the tracks it is all the more rewarding. nothing should put you off this album. it takes time but it is time well spent!
i am glad that biffy clyro have kept some orignality in their 13 new songs otherwise people would be criticising them for doing an unorignal album compared to blackened sky.
if you have blackened sky then buy this. give it time and it will soon become the best album you own. BUY IT!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2003
Biffy Clyro have taken a brave approach with their second release. Instead of casually milking the devotion of their fans with more big anthems like "justboy", they've gone the other way and now seem to concentrate on fractured, unpredictable musical arrangements that made up the less catchy songs on "Blackened Sky."
Opener "Bodies in Flight" is probably one of the more successful cuts, with big post-hardcore riffs and memorable melodic passages that are key to Biffy's sound. In other songs, however, the band seem to get so caught up in the increasing musical complexity that you wonder if its really necessary, and whether theyre just showing off their ability for intricate band interplay. That said, they can still pull out a simple good tune like "questions and answers" so there isnt much point in complaining.
This is an accomplished, cerebral album thats not intented to invite a mass audience, but should give the patient listener something substantial to chew on. Give it a go.