The faux disdain which greeted the release of Instant History in A Celebration of Endings’ promotional cycle was both a token of modern fandom and the need for music’s blogscape to stand on each other’s corpses for those click-click-clicks. EDM hell? A band lost to the world of Tik Tok singalongs, three Instalads done gone selling own-brand sliders and doing Love Island tie-ins?
Of course not. Tattooed and complicated, the Ayrshire trio make unlikely candidates for mapping their souls and this eighth/ninth (depending on the way you count them) album is one forged in anger and a heightened sense of paranoia, both with the world beyond the glass and inside their circle. Major dislocations have taken place there, losses which have hit Simon Neil plus twins James and Ben Johnston hard. This hardening of attitudes has coloured their writing, such that the more supermarket mum friendly aspects of their music has, temporarily at least gone, bye bye.
You don’t have to scratch the surface to find the rawness underneath. Opener North Of No South sets the albums peak-and-trough, emotionally on edge patterns, whilst End Of draws them into punk and Weird Leisure confronts the slow motion corrosion of friendships with people who prefer drugs to reality. A Celebration of Endings is a title laden with irony and reveals Biffy Clyro’s darkest side, but it’s a record that both 2020 and they needed in order to make sense of a turbulent past and a chaotic future.
You can read the full review here.