Deep Cuts Seven of Biffy Clyro’s non-album highlights

As they prepare to headline Reading and Leeds, we delve deep into Biffy’s discography.

An era of Biffy Clyro doesn’t end with the twelve or so tracks that make up their next LP - not even close. Some of the band’s biggest gems are hidden away in a b-side or rarities compilation.

When the band played three nights in a row at Glasgow’s Barrowlands before beginning work on recent album ‘Ellipsis’, some rarities, up to fifteen years old, were played for the very first time, and received some of the best crowd responses of the shows, ahead of their arena-flirting singles. Biffy Clyro are a band that get even more interesting the further down you dig, so we’ve done just that. Here’s seven of their most brilliant lesser-known cuts.

Hope For An Angel

‘Hope For An Angel’ is one of Biffy’s most-loved off-cuts from the era of their 2002 debut ‘Blackened Sky’. That LP thrived on its crazed noise, with ‘Hope For An Angel’ a significantly more delicate counterpart. The track is rolled out live occasionally, and remains a real gem from the trio’s earliest days.

Breatheher

Biffy’s quiet, acoustic side was showcased sparingly in their early years, and largely reserved for b-sides. It came to the fore later in their career, with ‘Machines’, from 2007’s ‘Puzzle’, their quiet crowning glory, but ‘Breatheher’, the second side of the ‘27’ single, is just as affecting, taking all the emotion of ‘Blackened Sky’ and laying it out as clear as day.

..And with the Scissorkick Is Victorious

The Kilmarnock trio got even weirder with second album ‘The Vertigo of Bliss’, and ‘..And with the Scissorkick Is Victorious’ shows the band at their most brutal. The b-side to ‘The Ideal Height’, the track flits in between all-out aggression and the soaring, arena rock choruses they’ve gravitated further towards in more recent times.

Bonanzoid Deathgrip

What did we say about Biffy getting weirder - here’s ‘Bonanzoid Deathgrip’. 2005’s ‘Infinity Land’ was a crazy, creepy world, harbouring the band’s most twisted material to date. This b-side in particular employs one of Simon Neil’s most haunting guitar lines ever, leading you down a long, dark road that ends with a screaming, intense finale, as only Biffy Clyro could.

Asexual Meat Kitchen

From 2007’s ‘Puzzle’ onwards, the band have released an accompanying disc of rarities and b-sides for each of their full-lengths (the counterpart to ‘Ellipsis’ has been promised, but not arrived as of yet). ‘Missing Pieces’, released over eighteen months after ‘Puzzle’, gave us ‘Asexual Meat Kitchen’, a live favourite that fits perfectly into ‘Puzzle’s blend of the band’s early wizardry and embrace of the radio-ready chorus (the ‘bit’ from 2:25 sounds like Alkaline Trio, somehow).

Hiya

2009’s ‘Only Revolutions’ brought with it a ‘Lonely Revolutions’ compilation the following year, and its standout is ‘Hiya’. The track brings together everything that made their fifth LP such a mainstream hit, and it’s a crying shame it didn’t make the album, tbh. Its chorus is polished, but there’s enough grit and pure noise to still be undoubtedly Biffy. Let’s just ignore the lyric “can you feel my dick slap, baby” though, shall we?

City Of Dreadful Night

‘Opposites’ was Biffy’s first UK number one, and they clearly weren’t short of material, with a whole other disc released following the double album. It’s called ‘Similarities’ (a clever bunch, these), and ‘City Of Dreadful Night’ is its best moment. The track is livelier than most of ‘Opposites’, with call and response backing vocals and meandering segments that take the band back to their weird roots, something that was slightly lost on ‘Opposites’ as a whole.

Tags: Biffy Clyro, Listen, Features

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