Biffy Clyro - The Vertigo Of Bliss
Biffy Clyro claim to not "give a fig" about top 20 chart positions, and yet listening to the west-Scotland three-piece's second album The Vertigo Of Bliss you'd argue this was because the band has absolutely no sense of risk; no desire to attack any musical foundations.
As an album, The Vertigo Of Bliss is listenable enough, but like many other young contemporaries such as Oceansize, they simply cannot tell the difference between material worth keeping and material worth sticking on the fifth-single-off-album second CD b-side. Punching in around the hour mark, the album is rambling and schizophrenic, almost the same criticism you could levy at Oceansize's Effloresce, and simply contains too much prog-punk-rock musical indulgence to fully grab the listener by the throat, or at least the ears.
They have the talent, certainly, and there are many portions of each track on the album that contain vast promise, but nowadays it's all too easy to throw yourselves into every market, and Biffy Clyro, who are earning themselves a stellar reputation on the live circuit, simply are too genre derivative to stand shoulders above their peers on record. For a start, lead singer Simon Neil delivers vocals with a transatlantic twinge, ensuring that his singing origin covers conceivable radio market. With Aplomb contains promise because it dares to not follow nu-metal convention and builds up to a crashing finale, and yet it’s out of place on the album. The mantra delivery prevalent throughout Diary Of Always doesn’t actually work, and further adds to the identity crisis on The Vertigo Of Bliss.
With such grandiose song titles as When The Faction’s Factioned and Liberate The Illiterate / A Mong Among Mingers, it’s clear the band’s pretensions are sky-high, but at least they hit the musical sensibilities correctly on rockers such as A Man Of His Appalling Posture and Now The Action Is On Fire!, but by then many listeners will have already had enough.
It’s obvious how Biffy Clyro have picked up a cult-following, but whether they ever become marketable and produce world-class albums is up to them, because they have the talent; it’s just a question of whether they have the discipline to abandon their lesser material.