Ayrshire trio Biffy Clyro follow up their most successful album to date with a record that should place them at the top of the UK's alt-rock pile. A tight, exuberant album, 'Only Revolutions' maintains a steady mix of hard rock and melody that should keep devoted fans happy, and maybe even win them a few new ones.
They went from being cult heroes to arena-fillers in the space of a couple of years, but you can't deny Biffy Clyro their success. The alt-rockers have steadily worked at developing their palette, and although a proportion of their fans were unhappy at the new direction their music took - from stuttering songs that twist, snake and weave in unexpected directions, to ones that thousands of people can scream back at them night after night - it also meant that the Scottish trio's appeal was considerably broadened.
Following their most successful album to date, (2007's 'Puzzle') is album #5, 'Only Revolutions', a record that's consistent with its predecessor. It's a collection of songs that aren't quite as experimental as the old guard may have liked, but there's plenty of tunes clocking in at a breakneck pace - 'The Golden Rule', 'Cloud of Stink' - to keep the moshers happy.
The more interesting aspect of Biffy Clyro is unearthed on tracks like 'Born on a Horse', though. A song that seems influenced by Simon Neil's excellent side-project Marmaduke Duke, its funky, buzzing bassline epitomises the true nature of 'Only Revolutions'; big, blustery anthems like the brilliant 'Mountains' sit alongside galloping pop-rock tunes like 'Whorses' without batting a proverbial eyelid. The theatrical aspect can't be discounted, either; 'The Captain' and 'Many of Horror' are almost Muse-like in their delivery and descent into jagged crescendos.
It says a lot that a guest appearance by one of the most revered modern rocks - Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme (on 'Bubbles') is virtually disregarded. This may not be Biffy Clyro's defining album, but it seems like they're edging ever closer to it.