Opposites Live from Glasgow
(14 Floor Records)
“This is a rock ‘n’ roll show, so let’s everybody get on their fucking feet,” singer Simon Neil says in the middle of Opposites Live from Glasgow. Sure, if all you knew about Biffy Clyro was that their last release was a two-disc concept album, you might make a few incorrect assumptions. This Scottish group is known for its loud, intense shows, and even as they’ve gained commercial success, that energy has remained a vital part of the tour experience.
Opposites is arguably Biffy Clyro’s most accessible album, which is a compliment, not a criticism, especially when the tracks from that album gain new life live. For instance, “Black Chandelier” starts out quite melodically, but it maintains its weird edge with the repetition of the word “drip” at the beginning and a big rock guitar finish. “Victory Over the Sun” becomes rawer live, with each instrument audible and crucial to the balance of the track. The band has clearly found the right way to juggle quiet and intensity to reach a wider audience, such as with the progress of “The Thaw” from sad lament to near-desperate plea.
As the title indicates, the tracklist is heavily geared toward promoting Opposites. The songs from previous albums that do make the cut, such as “Many of Horror” and “Mountains,” are fan favorites that inspire avid singalongs. The one complaint I could lodge against this record is that it ignores the band’s first three albums and several EPs. Still, Biffy Clyro are one of the greatest live bands gigging in the world today, and short of seeing them in the flesh, this is a great indicator that their shows are just as good if not better than their recorded output.