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Infinity Lands Triumphantly
on 18 October 2004
Biffy have gone and done it again.
I wasn't the most certain of this album when I first listened to it. A couple of the tracks jumped out at me immediately, and I was a huge fan of the single Glitter and Trauma; but the album as a whole didn't strike me as particularly good.
But first impressions can be deceiving and I was oh so wrong. So wrong indeed! I have to warn you now though, the only way I can do this review properly is to compare to Biffy's earlier work. So if you don't know it well, then "these words won't help you if you're looking for answers".
This is quite simply the most varied, intelligent, unpredictable and accomplished album I have ever heard. Starting off with the Eightiesesque dance rock anthem "Glitter and Trauma", with a typical thumping Biffy baseline after the amazing anticipatory (real word?) minute long intro; and finishing with the quiet majesty of "Pause it and Turn it Up", this album never lets go of your brain and eardrums and you just have to jump up and joiun in the lyrics in true Biffy tradition. The music "twists and turns, wrapping around me" as Simon shrieks in "Jaggy Snake", one of the more complicated tracks that took me a few listens from when I first heard it live to 'get', but I love it now.
As for the rest of the tracks, "Strung to your Ribcage" is a frantic warped love song that rips along at breathtaking pace, "Got Wrong" is a grungier almost Weezerlike song of a similar loudness, while sandwiched between them is the catchy cheekiness of recent hit single "My Recovery Injection". Following this raucous start, Biffy pause for breath with the beautifully sad "The Atrocity", which sees Simon sounding his most Scottish ever. A good thing if you ask me.
Next up is the surely classic-in-waiting "Some Kind Of Wizard", which recalls such previous Biffy wonders as "The Go-slow", while the explosive time changes and sensational melodies also display just how far the band have come in only three years. Following this is "Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave". Words cannot do this song justice. Its like a better "Liberate the Illiterate". And that was one of my top 3 alltime Biffy songs.
The rhythm then changes with the awesome baseline and jangling guitars of "Only One Word Comes To Mind", followed by "Man from Crasp". This latter is bizarre; with no music only Simon, Ben and James singing in choral harmony; but strangely compelling. This immediately breaks into the cracking riff of "Jaggy Snake".
Then, the glory of the most magnificently titled song of all time - "The Kids From Kibble and the Fist Of Light". The song even does the title justice, flying along with roaring guitars and the jazzy chorus, before splintering off into some introspective trumpet (!!!) and the sensational repeated line of 'these strange explosions hit me like a fist of light". Magical.
Then to round off, we have the big band start and great ending of "The Weapons Are Concealed" followed by the aforementioned contemplation of "Pause it and Turn it Up". There is also a bonus track, consisting of Simon reading a great little poem over a background of raucous static guitar feedback. Its not pretty on the ears, but makes sense.
In summary, if you are looking for a bland, by the numbers record with one or two poppy choruses, don't buy this album. However, if you aren't afraid to try new things, to listen to bands who aren't afraid to push boundaries, experiment, and just generally have a good time while doing it, get this album. It may take several listens, but once you get it, it will be a friend for life.
Of course, if you love the Biffy already, what the hell are you waiting for?
"Do You Believe In Magic?" After this you may just.