Biffy Clyro have written many fantastic stadium anthems, particularly in the more recent stages of their career: Only Revolutions’ ‘Mountains’ and Opposites’ ‘Black Chandelier’ are both more than capable of getting tens of thousands of rowdy festival-goers to sing along, whilst ‘Many of Horror’ has such mass appeal that it has even been covered in an X-Factor winner’s single. However, the Scottish band are equally well known for writing fast paced tunes with heavy, complex, jagged riffs , and whilst 2013’s Opposites was well received, there were worries from some corners that their massive mainstream success might have smoothed off their rougher, rockier, edges.
Perhaps in response, Simon Neil promised that new album Ellipsis (out 8th July) would be a more aggressive and dirty affair, one that sounds like it is “teetering on the edge of chaos”. Early samples such as ‘Wolves of Winter’ and live versions of ‘On a Bang’ have backed this up, and latest taster ‘Animal Style’ is no different.
The song begins with a driving riff which carries on throughout the verse. Never ones to stick to an ordinary verse-chorus-verse structure, the band build up the tension with an urgent sounding pre-chorus before launching into a huge chorus which splits itself into two distinct sections: a slower, heavy, synth-backed breakdown, then a faster section which is sure to get the crowd moving. Following the second go around, we are treated to an impressive guitar solo, before one last chorus to seal the deal.
Lyrically, as the song’s title may suggest, Simon Neil taps into his more animalistic desires, warning the song’s addressee (presumably a lover) that “I’ll eat you alive” and wondering “Why d’you waste your time with me/ I’m just an animal”. The previously mentioned ‘edge of chaos’ theme is certainly evident here, as we are told “My body’s gone cold/and I’ve lost control,” and that “All I wanna feel’s a little chemical rush”. All in all, this song feels like one which will unite – and excite – all corners of Biffy’s fanbase.