Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Biffy Clyro – That Golden Rule

Flailing Scots crack the UK top 10…


Michaelangelo Matos: Oh, that Golden Rule. I was thinking of the one that would have prevented me from grading this crap, but since it’s the other one, I can go ahead.

John Seroff: Lighter than Helmet but heavier than Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro is a trio of unnecessarily angry white boys doing loudly unto others by means of ample Guitar Hero shredding and a full ninety second outro of the kind of over-the-top orchestral pomp we haven’t heard since the last, much-maligned Muse single. They keep the plates spinning fast enough that you may be surprised how much song they pack into a brisk three-and-a-half minutes. Minor but enjoyable.

Chuck Eddy: I honestly had no idea there were emo bands in Scotland (or England, for that matter). Assuming this actually counts as emo — basically, it’s a passable imitation of Husker Du, or maybe more accurately Therapy? (who were Irish). Which beats passable imitations of lots of other things.

Anthony Miccio: Hard to get worked up over hard rock riffola and a string-heavy climax when the overprocessed stick up their collective ass sucks out all the drama. We already have one Foo Fighters, and their name is stupid enough.

Ian Mathers: This isn’t as monumentally shit as the ballad they did that we covered in the old Jukebox (too lazy to find the link, sorry) but there really isn’t much to recommend it either. The intro proves they’re still spending too much time aping the (much better) likes of Cave In, and that weird James Bond strings coda would have been much more exciting without the compressed guitar all over it.

Iain Mew: I had utterly written off Biffy Clyro after “Mountains” (who wouldn’t?) but this is AMAZING. First is the tightly coiled riff monster, bouncing contemplation and aggression against each other while hooks collide all round and maniacal lines like “slash swords through your wooden spine!” poke out here and there. That section demands to be turned up and up in its own right, but actually turns out to be only the support act. The actual highlight is when Biffy wind it down, marshal the troops and charge into a thrilling, hilarious prog metal blowout. The record that Muse wish they could still make.

Doug Robertson: Is there anything more sad and pathetic than a theme song to a superhero that doesn’t have actually have a superhero movie to soundtrack? This is a desperate attempt to whore themselves to Hollywood on a major scale, essentially saying “Look at us, we can do it! We’re ready to move beyond being feted by Edith Bowman and start going for the real big time”. Since when was being Chad Kroeger something to aim towards?

Matt Cibula: I think they think they are poets, but they’re not exactly Hugh MacDiarmid up there. But this song has string action, and knocks its own heart off its own sleeve, and that’s its own kind of poetry I guess. Aye I said aye I will Aye.

Martin Skidmore: The fastest bits on this are okay, in a fifth rate sub-punk kind of way, but then it keeps slowing down again. It sounds kind of like thrash without the conviction or balls, though there are also some excellent strings adding drama in parts. This is good and bad: it’s by far the best playing on offer, but it does evoke prog rock excesses of a kind I hated deeply.

Pete Baran: Goes surprisingly quiet in the chorus, and even more surprisingly orchestral for FAR TOO LONG AT THE END. So plus two for surprising, lose one for boring me. But agreeably silly.

Hillary Brown: Ballsy, but it could use yet more huevos. Blue October it up, y’all.

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