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Biffy Clyro - 'Bubbles'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:27 UK time, Sunday, 2 May 2010

Biffy Clyro

I've come to a startling realisation, one which explains my relationship with pop music and why it sometimes becomes a little strained. Wanna know what it is? It's this: the majority of songs aren't fast enough.

I don't know if this is a result of some glandular thing, where my pancreas is so determined to keep my sugar levels at fizzykid levels that it just can't process slower, less immediate pop thrills, or just a simple matter of personal taste, but I really would rather most pop songs picked their feet up a bit, slouched a bit less, and generally acted in a more lively and eager-to-please fashion.

Biffy Clyro, who occasionally sound more than a little stodgy and slothful to these ears, have thoughtfully provided just the example I need to illustrate this.

(Here's the video. It's blinding.)

Listen to the verses of this song. Hear how lean and sparky it sounds. Hear the twang of Simon's accent and the spring-heeled thwack of Ben's drums. Listen to those conversational, quirky lyrics, and thrill to the buzzsaw bass.

This, basically, is the kind of music I like.

So much so that when the chorus kicks in, and there's a thickening and slowing of sound, even though it's obvious that this is what needs to happen, it's still feels like a bit of a let down. And once they're into the grunting bigness of the song's latter stages, well I'm already pining for the verses to come back.

This is how it's perfectly possible to really like a song and be a bit bored of it, before it has even finished playing. I basically love the verses, appreciate the chorus, get a bit weary in the half-speed grindy bits, love the breakdown and build-up section, and love the verses again.

There are five-year-olds with a longer attention span than this. I tellya, old age is gonna be SUCH a blessing...

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: May 3rd
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


  • Comment number 1.


    This is the Thranjax/Spirit united response to this Biffy song .

    We say "united " as we are sat next to each other in a house full of cats in Scunthorpe .

    This fourth single from the excellent album Only Revolutions boasts some wonderful guitar work that compliments Simon's vocals in the bridge and a real stand out chorus .

    We believe that each section of this song fits perfectly into the subsequent section and the work as a whole builds in an emotive and successful spiral to the conclusion which its builders intended. This would be a live favourite with many fists thrusted airwards to the compelling chorus.

  • Comment number 2.

    The cats, by the way, would like to see more evidence of mouse torture within the song, and are generally unhappy with the simple use of a title "Bubbles" since this is a title unconnected in any way with cats, who, they claim, are the rightful rulers of the world.

  • Comment number 3.

    Thranjax and Spirit have met in the real World! :O :O This is quite a shocking development.

  • Comment number 4.

    Or thranjax is living out a fantasy!

  • Comment number 5.

    And of course this is the fifth single from the album if you include Mountains .

  • Comment number 6.

    I think you've got it the wrong way round Fraser, the verses are, although lyrically entertaining, probably in my view the weakest point in the song. The way the pre-chorus kicks in is all out brilliant stuff and the chorus itself, well, lets just say it's KILLER. This is all just a prelude however to the most masterful moment on Only Revolutions, the building up and building down of layers of sound finally giving way to the howls and squeals of Josh Hommes brilliant guitar work. It's rock heaven and it puts to shame every other band in the same field as Biffy.

    "Who's the real pretender now Dave Grohl?" *cough,cough*

  • Comment number 7.

    Well either they have met in the real world, or thranj has fantasies which involve cats...

  • Comment number 8.

    "Thranjax and Spirit have met in the real World!"
    "Or thranjax is living out a fantasy!"

    Why should these two be mutually exclusive??

  • Comment number 9.



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