Biffy Clyro - Singles Collection 2001-2005

Paul Cook 13/07/2008

Rating: 4.5/5

Biffy Clyro have only really come to commercial and international prominence in the last 2 years, particularly after the release of their much deliberated, arguably more commercial album Puzzle in 2007. Singles 2001-2005 is almost certainly an attempt to highlight the quality of the band's earlier material from albums Blackened Sky, The Vertigo of Bliss and Infinity Land. This collection of singles, nearly all of which demonstrate this band's immense talent, are a must for fans of Puzzle and an ideal album for newcomers to the band. The singles collection features twelve tracks, four from each of Biffy Clyro's first three albums.

Kick-started with a selection of four tracks from Blackened Sky a mix of mellow tracks and heavier, powerful numbers the band's diversity is shown in the first few songs - 27 and Justboy and the heavier Joy. Discovery. Invention and 57. The slowly soaring, placid melody and late heavier chorus of 27 is an ideal starter to the singles collection displaying the band's varied abilities; intelligent song writing and delicate instrumentals as well as heavier, energetic riffs. Justboy is another shining example of such skills - Vocally delectable and harmoniously synced with the gentle riff and rolling drums. Joy. Discovery. Invention. best showcases the band's natural ability to switch between heavy and light riffs and vocals and remains one of Biffy Clyro's most enjoyable and captivating songs to date.

We are then treated to a four song selection from The Vertigo of Bliss beginning with the frenzied rock track Toys Toys Toys Choke, Toys Toys Toys. It's mixture of expert drumming, delicately interwoven guitar lines and heavy, energized rock riffs sets the tone for the rest of the tracks taken from the sophomore album from Biffy Clyro. The Ideal Height and Questions and Answers follow with their equally well-constructed blend of heavy rock and lighter indie styles. The final Vertigo of Bliss track Eradicate the Doubt is lyrically one of the strongest tracks on the album and although it's instrumentals are simple on the whole, the mixture of delicate riffs with heavier chorus lines makes for a consistently enjoyable track time and again.

Infinity Land graces the singles collection with some of Biffy Clyro's best ever material. There's No Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake is predominantly a heavy metal track but one peppered with more subdued rock verses. Once again it's an enjoyable mixture of two, albeit similar, genres and frontman Simon Neil's seamless switch back and forth between vocal styles is consistently refreshing. Glitter and Trauma will ring a few bells with fans of Puzzle, particularly it's cover art, as it features the line ”Your skin will break into jigsaw shaped pieces of meat, you'll fall apart.” Aside from the foresighted lyrics, the track features one their catchiest choruses and another highly energetic drum beat, lead riff and opening guitar line. Overall, it's one of the pinnacle tracks of Biffy Clyro's back catalogue and shines out on this album too. My Recovery Injection, the penultimate song is a solid but fairly standard Biffy combination of melodic vocals and classic rock-style riff. Final track Only One Word Comes to Mind, is a clearer example of the band's realisation after three superb albums to little avail that they needed to contemporise and commercialise their music a little to appeal to a wider audience. Anthemic lyrics and soaring instrumentals make up the tracks three and a half minutes and although the track is admittedly more mainstream in it's approach it is still abundant with trademark Biffy lyrics, highly emotive vocals and a heavily strummed ending. Biffy Clyro - The Singles Collection 2001-2005 is a rare 'best of' album being actually a necessity in any fan's CD collection, particularly as each of the twelve tracks is brilliantly enjoyable time and again.

Biffy Clyro - The Singles Collection 2001-2005 is out now on Beggars Banquet Records.