Jonas loves Biffy Clyro! This can hardly be overruled in the fifth round of our record crash. “Infinity Land” is the third studio album of the Scots and has been 14 years old! Whether the weird alternative rock pleases the ears of our pop-affine Alina? An album, two statements, one text. Jonas says:
In 2013, when I listened to British rock band Biffy Clyro and their third album music videos “My Recovery Injection” and “Glitter and Trauma “First encountered confusion spread. What the hell is this absolutely simple guitar doing and how does it harmonize with the bassline in the former? How can a band sound so disharmonious and yet so melodious at the same time, even sway within a short time between bloodcurdling screaming and indie party? And where do the ideas for these crazy music videos come from? I had so many questions.
I did not really come across the chaotic music of the trio. Nevertheless, I was always drawn into the maelstrom of the songs, so that the entire record was bought but a short time later on the music platform of a well-known American download provider. To this day, the musical cocktail that Biffy Clyro presents on her third album and, unfortunately, far too rarely praised masterpiece “Infinity Land” bothers me. Sounded the Scots on their first album from 2002 still like a trickier version of Nirvana, so released the successor “The Vertigo of Bliss” of any genre limits and regulations. A year later, the group would test their limits yet again, before turning to more orderly stadium rock. By now, Biffy Clyro has released no less than seven studio albums.
Let’s jump to track twelve. This is titled “The Weapons Are Concealed” and varies between “hit the Raab” player and impulsive rock chorus. This already shows how little the band cares about conformity and conventions. Shortly before, frontman Simon Neil screeches in the “There’s No Such Thing As a Jaggy Snake” with the shrill, almost oriental-sounding guitars – without refrain, first in 4/4, then in 5 / 4- and later on in 6/4 time. When the 90-second intro “There’s Such Man As Crasp” introduces the piece to harmonic choirs, the listener can expect the complete chaos and musical genius that embody and set Biffy Clyro on “Infinity Land”. If “Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave” turns towards the stadium with its catchy mitgröhl chorus, the already mentioned “Glitter and Trauma” is allowed to play the 70-minute-long first with electro-bubbling, then with noise and dissonant riffs, accentuations and screams -Part at the end.
Again and again, the band begrudge the listeners between the dissonant and loud riff passages recovery breaks. So also in the fix to a poppy dance number developing “Only One Word Comes to Mind”. How fast but skillfully Biffy Clyro can lead from very calm to very loud is not only apparent here. You never have the feeling that you find a loose string of song parts. Even if a piece does not even use pop structures, it feels like an absolute unit. So the number ends in the probably most violent riff outbreak of the whole record – and although one had the feeling in the beginning that one well deserved break here.
Biffy Clyro have always been a walking chameleon well aware of its roots. On “Infinity Land”, the trio tease this ability to the last and develop the – in my view – most creative and multi-layered rock record of the past twenty years. Many of the questions that occupied me at the time can now be answered most easily by recognizing that the three guys behind Biffy Clyro have unique musical and creative visions that can make such whacked-up pieces. You do not always have to dance at a wedding, but you can just let your influences free. Often the freest final results come up.
And Alina replies:
I have to admit that I did not know a single song of Biffy Clyro, let alone its own Existence knew. Even though the band has existed for as long as I’m in the world and probably released more albums than most of the artists I hear. “Infinity Land” is from 2004 and according to Google “one of the most pop-heavy albums” of the rock band.
Already on the first track of the Album’s “Glitter & Trauma” makes it clear that the band is traveling in quite a few genres, which pulls stringently through all thirteen songs. A bit of rock here, a bit of Metal there, then some pop sequences and a bit of an alternative. How to name the actual genre remains unclear. After all, rock band sounds even cooler than anything else. After all, Biffy Clyro finally manage to get into the song vocally after more than a minute and that’s not so bad. Not so bad, but also means that you have to focus on the vocals insane and the instruments should try to hide, otherwise you do not get really much with.
In the songs “Strung To Your Ribcage” and “Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave” does the three present just that, what about rock music – or is it metal? – do not like it at all: this senseless shrieking, in which one really bleeds one’s ears and one can only actually hear the bass. I miss it a bit on the melodic and harmonious and the meaning behind it I probably did not quite understand. Generally I feel the instruments in many of the songs as extremely disturbing. For tracks like “Got Wrong” the vocals are perfectly fine and the lyrics are also very sophisticated. But until you really pay attention to it, it takes time. In my opinion, the instruments destroy a bit the overall package and dominate way too much.
In general, the arrangements of the record are very well thought out. The album offers so many variations that it just seems too much. There is a lack of coherence that runs through the album and forms the common thread. A good example of this is the song “There’s No Search Man As Crasp”, where I first thought Spotify would have just played something different. Even though the song lasts less than two minutes, it does not fit into the concept of the album at all, and above all does not sound like a band that has been making music for over twenty years.
Overall I miss “Infinity Land “Too much of melody, harmony and coherence. I can not judge the band’s style on other albums, but if I heard a song from the band on the radio, I definitely would not know who was singing. For me, there is no big difference to bands like the Foo Fighters or Jimmy Eat World. But that may probably also be attributed to my absolutely lacking knowledge in this genre. From the arrangements, the album is very refined and well chosen. I really liked the tracks “The Atrocity”, “Some Kind of Wizard” and “Only One Word Comes to Mind”.
You can buy the album “Infinity Land” here.
And this sounds like this:
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