Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro have conveniently rounded up their singles from 2001- 2005 in one handy CD. Following the band's departure from Beggars Banquet, this compilation has been criticised as a contract filler - but the problems with it stretch far beyond that. If a compilation of 12 radio edited singles can't sell a band I don't know what will.
Biffy Clyro's surf-drenched sound may be reasonably unique for a British band (and particularly a Scottish one), but it's a far less unique proposition on a global level. Stone Temple Pilots? Check. Nickleback? Check. Point Break soundtrack? Check. In fact the dates covered by this compilation (2001-2005) provide the most confusion, as you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd fallen through a wormhole and landed in the post-grunge mid 90's. Receiving comparisons as prestigious as 'Nirvana!' over the years, at best they are a struggling Smashing Pumpkins homage, at worst not dissimilar to our very own surf-rockers - Reef (R.I.P 1993 - 2003). This is medium heavy rock, primed and ready for use in an unleash-your-inner-rocker style mobile phone ad - as a mainstream corporate beheamoth attempts to rebrand itself as 'down with the kids'.
While the emotional lyrics are all there on paper (blackened skies, heartbreak, sitting mournfully on the beach) I'm pretty sure the troubles drift away as they paddle out into the Newquay surf. It's rarely offensive or unlistenable, but there's just not much here to recommend. You might be better off trying last year's album proper Puzzle....or Nevermind, by Nirvana.