Since all my last few posts have been film reviews and there has been a lack of interesting albums released in the last few weeks I thought I’d take the time to review an old album, furthermore, since a moth or so back I reviewed Biffy Clyro’s debut Blackened Sky I thought I’d further my back catalogue with a review of their follow-up, 2003’s Vertigo of Bliss. Aka the one with the woman fingering herself on the cover. Anyway, slightly bizarre artwork aside, let’s talk about the music.
The Vertigo of Bliss is a much more experimental album than it’s predecessor and it is, arguably, the first time Biffy manage to get themselves a unique signature sound, not discounting any good qualities of the first record, I love that album, but this is where things start to get a bit more special. Introducing very disjointed sounds and a lot more screaming, with Vertigo of Bliss Biffy Clyro use their skilful instrumentalism to spring board off into an album that spreads into the unknown. It’s clear the band are starting to feel much more comfortable to do something more risky, add some punch and throw in some more unpredictability. There are parts of songs that don’t even sound connected to the last section but rather than being un-listenable it somehow, on some sub conscious level, works.
It’s not 100% madness though, there are moments of real thoughtfulness on this record. Questions and Answers for example is not quite so experimental it is much more thoughtful lyrically, and much more standard musically and is one of the albums stand out tracks. Toys toys toys, choke toys toys toys is obviously the one most people remember from this album and that is perhaps the most mainstream sounding track on here, it shows a band with a great diversity though, and in many ways Toys toys toys… encompasses all the different elements that have been tossed together in the songs of this album.
As a summary of my relationship with the record I have to say, the more mainstream songs I don’t like as much as the ones on Blackened Sky whereas the more experimental tracks I don’t enjoy quite as much as the ones on Infinity Land, but Vertigo of Bliss still has something going for it. Whether it’s just an interesting album that bridges the creative gap in between Blackened Sky and Infinity Land or if it has a complete charm of it’s own I could never decide. But it is nonetheless one that everyone should listen to.
P.S. I’m excited very much for Opposites, watch this space for more Biffy reviews