Music,  Other

Review – Biffy Clyro, Mallory Knox & Pure Love

Biffy Clyro
– Opposites
Easily the
most recognisable name of this review, the hype surrounding this release was
fairly apparent to most people. Biffy has risen greatly in popularity over the
past few years, and so, had a lot to live up to, releasing a double album
effort (I personally have only listened to the single CD version). Which, I
feel, they do and don’t. In general, the style of the album bears many
similarities to their last effort, Only Revolutions. The same, soaring melodies
and strong riffs are still present. Yet, there is something entirely non-catchy
about their tunes; I have found it near impossible to get any of them stuck in
my head for any great length of time. This makes their songs potentially less
annoying, but also less memorable. For me, much of the album blends together,
sounding all rather similar and hard to distinguish. Lyrically, there seems to
be no powerful message of theme, indeed many lines making little sense in any
respect – anyone want to explain what ‘her tiny saxophone’ is? A few tracks do
stand out for me though: Sounds Like Balloons has a strong opening riff, easily
recognisable, Biblical and Skylight are powerful and emotive, and Stingin’
Belle harks back to the band’s Scottish roots with a wonderful bagpipe input. Overall,
it’s an enjoyable, easy to listen to album that I would happily play in the
background throughout my day, but nothing that I will feel particular affinity
to or remember significantly.
Mallory Knox
– Signals
A band’s
debut album, as this is, has to make a strong first impression, telling your
listeners what you’re all about. There are no expectations to live up to, or
preconceived ideas about your music, which is both a positive and a negative;
no chance of disappointment, but also no large pre-existing fan base to support
you. Mallory Knox burst out with an album of catchy, energetic riffs and
meaningful lyrics, making for an excellent listen. They sound young, fresh and
energetic, giving their all to their music, reaching out to listeners who can
relate to them. For me, their sound may not innovative or experimental, but
rather fits in perfectly with my music collection full of the likes of Young
Guns and Deaf Havana (bands whom Mallory Knox can be linked to through various
tours). Even if this is not your preferred style, they are easy to listen to,
and have clocked up a fair amount of Radio 1 airplay, and could be a good
introduction to those not familiar with this genre as a whole. Their lyrics
veer into dark territory at times, but are personal and meaningful, and
relatable to many people I would expect. The album has a decent range as well,
from the up-tempo, energetic tracks, to the slower, simpler ones, showing that
they are willing to experiment a bit. Stand outs for me include Beggars, Death
Rattle, Wake Up, Signals and Creeper. I found it to be a great listen from
start to finish, and since this debut is all we have to go by, indicates great
things to come from this band.
Pure Love –

For most
people, I would guess the first word that springs to mind when thinking of Pure
Love is unexpected.  There was a great
deal of shock when Frank Carter left hardcore punk band Gallows and teamed up
with former Hope Conspiracy guitarist Jim Carroll. Their new style of music is
a far cry from their previous, as they have moved into rock’n’roll territory.
Anthems is their first offering together, and it does not disappoint. I can
understand Gallows fans not liking this style, as Carter has clearly moved on
from his old ways, but this album will easily appeal to a new crowd of
followers. Personally, I don’t like the hardcore, screaming style, and Pure
Love is far more up my street. Their songs are upbeat and catchy, while
maintaining the raw reality and personal influence of good rock music. Far from
‘selling out’ as some may think, Carter is pouring himself into these songs, as
well as displaying off some impressive vocals that I, thinking him a screamer,
was previously unaware of, and teamed with Carroll’s energetic riffs, it seems
to be a winning combination. Highlights off the album for me, include Riot
Song, Handsome Devil’s Club, The Hits and Beach of Diamonds. The album hits the
perfect combination of bright, catchy tunes and meaningful, real emotions
behind the music and lyrics. Here’s hoping these boys find success in this new
venture, as this is certainly a promising start.