Biffy Clyro
Opposites


2.0
poor

Review

by Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (48 Reviews)
February 3rd, 2013 | 22 replies | 3,125 views


Release Date: 01/28/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Focusing on anthems for anthems sake.

The quest to stay commercially relevant is notoriously harsh and demanding, as the majority of bands who embark upon it soon find out. In most cases quality is quickly usurped by quantity, and standards degenerate as rapidly as bands can pump out singles and albums. Although it would be a sweeping and incorrect generalisation to suggest that all such bands regret their decision to aim for the mainstream, those that do so too hastily tend to be found wanting sooner rather than later. Biffy Clyro’s decision to wait some three years then to release their newest album seems wise in this context, as the temptation to pump out radio friendly soft rock tunes with catchy choruses must’ve been difficult to suppress. Unfortunately, all they’ve done with ‘Opposites’ is craft a compendium of them.

Biffy Clyro’s prolific rise to prominence since 2007’s ‘Puzzle’ has been remarkable. Three albums under their belts and with a bearded Scottish diehard following already in tow, minor tweaks were made to transform their eccentric alternative rock style to launch it into the mainstream. Following ‘Puzzle’, Biffy Clyro’s focus had shifted. Their aspirations leant themselves more to popularity than loyalty, whilst the emphasis on bigger choruses and conventional song structures saw an end to long instrumental passages and the screams of Simon Neil. What’s more, ‘Only Revelations’ took a step further from their origins, stripping the reverb-drenched guitars of their ferocity and allowing their pop sensibilities to become the fulcrum of their sound, epitomised by the irrefutably catchy ‘Mountains’. But whilst their fourth and fifth albums employed different strategies to their earlier releases, they both still came with a decidedly Biffy twist, and were as great as they were diverse.

With ‘Opposites’, Biffy Clyro have diluted their sound even further, with the focus almost exclusively on by the numbers mid tempo rockers with big choruses and even bigger stadiums in mind. The cookie cutter moments that were scattered amongst the finer moments on ‘Only Revelations’ have outmuscled the quirky and energetic cuts on ‘Opposites’, with newer fans more likely to be appeased than old. Few exceptions permitting, none of the tracks possess the grit of ‘Toys, Toys, Toys, Choke, Toys, Toys, Toys’, the progression of ‘Only One Word Comes To Mind’ or the grandiosity of ‘That Golden Rule’. The intro of ‘Stingin’ Belle’ hints at a return to the aggressive riffs of old but is reined in with one of the poppiest choruses on the album, whilst lyrically encouraging criticism with damning statements such as; “Grow some balls, and speak your mind”. ‘The Fog’ is one of many that fleets by all too inoffensively, whilst ‘Pocket’ is so upbeat and friendly that even the radio winces at its tenuous nature.

The finer moments on ‘Opposites’ arise when the band allow themselves to stray from the formula, turn up the distortion, and leave their reservations behind. Whether it’s the jagged, intermittent riff that features heavily on ‘Sounds Like Balloons’, the driving, determined energy created on ‘The Joke’s On Us’, or the rhythmically brilliant ‘Modern Magic Formula’, Biffy Clyro show that they can marry big choruses with substance, and create anthems without focusing purely on doing so. The biggest problem with ‘Opposites’ is not that the material is poor; it’s that in its quest to be an anthem laden mammoth it has merely succeeded in being forgettable.



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user ratings (243)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
jammaking (4)
Yet another step out of obscurity......

CollectTheLeaves (4)
Biffy Clyro cement their status as one of the best bands in the world with one of the most difficult...

turnip90210 (2.5)
A step in all the directions....


Comments:Add a Comment 
VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013



876 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Not reviewed for a little while so any feedback welcome.

Opposites seems to have gone down pretty well on Sputnik, might make for good debate.

geasoftime
February 3rd 2013



1139 Comments


i agree. pos'd.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013



876 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks man.

JesusCage
February 3rd 2013



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I understand your point of view, although i don't agree that is a poor album (it's visible on my rating)

Pos'd anyway

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013



876 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Cheers JC. Whilst listening not much stood out as being poor, but it was so inoffensive I struggled to remember much of it afterwards. As a single album it could've been a lot better.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013



876 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

What do you think is their worst eater?

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm quite enjoying this, I'll probably up my rating at some point.

Good, nicely balanced review.

Storm In A Teacup
February 3rd 2013



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This dude is still comin around?

I havent heard this yet but Im sure it is at least a 4.2

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013



876 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Appreciated Ali. Maybe it will grow on me too, at a later date.

ashcrash9
February 3rd 2013



385 Comments


Why is Chuckles in the Recommended section.

I mean, even if this is bad (haven't heard it yet), it can't be Chuckles-level bad...right?

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013



876 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Haha, its not that bad man. Its just the first band that popped into my head who'd disappointed with their latest album.

tommygun
February 3rd 2013



24218 Comments


great review man, pos

never really dug this band much so obv won't bother checking this but yeah good read

Digging: J Mascis - Tied to a Star

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013



876 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks mate, if you weren't into them much before I doubt this will change your mind.

Existing2
February 5th 2013



5 Comments


Not a bad review, here's a five star take on the album though:

http://spydistrict.com/2013/02/opposites-by-biffy-clyro/

mitch91
March 10th 2013



409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Their aspirations leant themselves more to popularity than loyalty"

I don't want to seem like a dick, but this line is horrible (if you mean loyalty to fans)- fans owe a band loyalty just as much a the band owes them. Plus I strongly believe that a bad who panders to their existing fan base are just as big 'sell outs' as a band who tries to go for popularity/money, its still cynical just in a different way.

Digging: Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight

WhiteNoise
March 2nd 2014



3089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ridiculously impressed when I caught these guys at soundwave.

I sort of enjoyed the records I'd heard but when they came on stage I felt like I was watching a band desperate to prove themselves to an audience that really wasn't familiar with them.

I got goosebumps when some of the riffs came out...that never happens.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

And that's how they played when I saw them in 2010 Croc... Just as great live this time... Best live band in the world right now? They may just be.

tommygun
March 2nd 2014



24218 Comments


the national tho

WhiteNoise
March 2nd 2014



3089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Two totally different bands man :P

InfamousGrouse
March 2nd 2014



3308 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

and one is amazing, the other not so much

Digging: Gillian Welch - Revival



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