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Album Review: Biffy Clyro – The Myth of the Happily Ever After

I’ve been finding myself incredibly excited about Biffy Clyro recently. 2020’s A Celebration of Endings was, in my opinion, the best album they’ve released in a while and their livestream last year was one of the most highly polished streams to come out during the pandemic. That they’ve followed this up so quickly is impressive; they have previous, their initial three albums coming out in quick succession but it still feels incredibly quick, especially with the events of the last year.

The Myth of the Happily Ever After feels to me like it draws from their whole career to date, a mixture of the big hooks and cathartic choruses of more recent albums and the, with more of a hint of their early work in the form of the odd turns which throw you off guard. Opener DumDum is an epic sprawling soundscape, perfectly layering synths, delay soaked guitar lines and huge droning chords ringing out. It’s a good example of how the production has evolved over time – they’ve never shied away from extra instrumentation on songs but now they’re able to really add depth.

Witch’s Cup is a standout track for me, the first half of the track full of the sort of cathartic hooks Biffy have become known for, but then everything drops back to a clean guitar before stabs of distorted bass bring the track into the climactic ending section. It’s bits like this that got me into Biffy Clyro in the first place and make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Hara Urara is musically one of the most interesting tracks on the record, with it’s soulful guitar part – it’s pop but with something odd about it to keep the listener interested. It builds to a big ending, a track that I’m sure will be a fan favourite live.

It’s album ender Slurpy Slurpy Sleep Sleep which really caught my attention of the first listen though, it’s weird layering really resonating. With a vocal line which, on each loop, adds an extra overdub, matched with a reverb laden soundscape it’s beautiful but odd. The drums on this song are incredible, absolutely perfect for the music, while Simon Neil’s vocals crack as he screams the verses. “Don’t you waste your time, love everybody” is sung out in a stunning harmony over distorted synthesisers, before the title is repeated over and over again as the music builds behind it, creating an truly epic end to the album. For me it’s their strongest closer since Now The Action (albeit for different reasons) and I can not wait to hear it live.

The Myth of the Happily Ever After is one of Biffy Clyro’s strongest releases to date which, for a band with 9 albums to date (plus a soundtrack and countless b-side albums) is no mean feat. It’s a record which really shows their evolution as a band, referencing nearly two decades of some of the most interesting music around. As great as the band are on record, they’re one of the best live bands around and, with this material at their disposal, they can only keep getting better.

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