Biffy Clyro

Warner Brothers, 2016


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Horrible band name, at least to my stateside ears. Horrible album cover, too. Relationship experts all agree that what women want most is three naked dudes curled up in the fetal position with a tattoo of a puzzle piece on their left flanks. Go ahead, ask your local woman and see if she agrees (if you're at the grocery store, maybe skip that advice...and also, ground chuck is on sale).

So, 0 for 2 before we've heard a note, and lest you think the music will salvage these missteps, let me assure you this is not the case. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Ellipsis is not bad music, but it does very little to distinguish itself from any other pop-punk teenage band you'd care to name. Think back to 2000 and bands like Good Charlotte, American Hi-Fi, perhaps a touch of P.O.D. guitar overdrive, and you've got the basics of this band's sound.

The album is quick, 11 songs in 39 minutes, like a good pop-punk-rock disc should be. Things open with a brief blast of three indistinguishable songs ("Wolves Of Winter" would sound pretty darn good live with the crowd shouting along, I will admit), then slows down for "Re-Arrange" and some fairly pedestrian lyrics. That's actually par for the course here; sentences like "I'm just a fucking animal" and "I don't know what I can trust" and "I got a lot of rage and I'm struggling with ways to control it" and "What was up's gone down / You take your road and I'll take mine" litter the disc, all misguided anger and well-worn sentiment, nothing you haven't heard.

This is the band's seventh album and one of its most diluted and predictable, with no nod to their past and an emphasis on the here and now that will play well at the UK festivals in which Biffy are quite popular. Stateside, punk-poppers who haven't heard of these guys will probably find a few songs here to enjoy, but even they won't find much inspiration here. 

"Howl" should get some radio play, but other than that I can't see much of this album being fondly recalled except by brand-new teenage fans. The experimentation promised here seems to be playing it absolutely straight. This band has a devoted fan base elsewhere and even they may wonder why the guys have toned it down here. Ellipsis is not a bad album and does nothing to diminish the band's status (they've opened for the Foo Fighters, and you can see why), but it's not an album that warrants repeated plays or has much to offer of lasting value beyond the head rush while it plays.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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