Biffy Clyro Rock Music World with Ellipsis
To the excitement of fans and critics alike, Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro released their seventh studio album Ellipsis on July 8th. The band formed in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire in 1995 and have played a significant role in the alternative rock music scene since then.
After their first three studio albums, Biffy Clyro substantially expanded their fanbase with the release of their fourth studio album Puzzle (2007). The record featured a more mainstream sound, simpler rhythms, and a less dissonant style that was characteristic of their earlier work. Puzzle eventually went platinum in the UK, selling over 300,000 copies.
Biffy Clyro found further success with their fifth studio album Only Revolutions (2009), which received a Mercury Music Prize nomination. At the 2013 NME Awards, they received the award for Best British Band. In August 2013, they headlined the main stage at Leeds & Reading Festival.
Overall, Ellipsis is a solid success for Biffy Clyro. The album’s central themes focus on the recent personal struggles of guitarist and vocalist Simon Neil, who sounds particularly anguished throughout the record. The promotion of Biffy Clyro’s sixth studio album Opposites reignited Neil’s mental health issues, made more complex by a series of personal setbacks. Ellipsis represents Neil’s exploration of those setbacks, but it also represents his journey to overcome them. Thus, the album is far more autobiographical in terms of lyrical themes than Billy Clyro’s previous work.
Most of Ellipsis features powerful emotions of torment and angst. The opening track “Wolves of Winter” encompasses a direct hit against the band’s unfavorable critics with the lyrics:
We have achieved so much more than you possibly thought we could
Well now you see me
You can achieve anything.
Just remember, no I in team
There’s two in brilliant
The rest of Ellipsis features warmer, more personal tunes that really make Biffy Clyro shine. The track “Medicine” contains several references to Neil’s deteriorated mental health condition, especially in the first verse:
I was done talking, but I still couldn’t sleep
I rolled up my medicine, to forget me
Tried not to disappoint you but I didn’t achieve
Cause I have a problem
And I need to get some
Ellipsis also features some explorative sounds that weren’t present in Biffy Clyro’s catalogue before. I won’t name any specific tunes (you should listen to the album yourself!), but the band cited hip hop artist A$AP Rocky as influential to the sound of Ellipsis. Given that Biffy Clyro is a rock band known for gritty hard-hitting tones, this cited influence may seem a bit strange to longtime fans. However, for more casual listeners, it makes the record even more fun.
If you’re looking for a great rock record to get into, Ellipsis (and the rest of Biffy Clyro’s discography) has you covered. Listen to the opening track and lead single “Wolves of Winter” on YouTube below. If you like what you hear, you can find the rest of Ellipsis streaming on Spotify.