IT seems as though 2016 has brought us a tidal wave of affairs, from Brexit to the withdrawal of Bake Off from the BBC (we’re still sad), but for some, it seems that this was the year of restoration and rock reawakening. With bands such as The xx, KT Tunstall, The Darkness and Kings of Leon, to name but a few, gearing up to release, perform or jump on their tour busses to return to the world of melodic madness, it’s sure to be an interesting year.
It had been a quiet three years for Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro, before bursting back onto the music scene with the release of their new studio album, Ellipsis, earlier this year. They are currently half way through their tour, with support from naughties pop punk band, Brand New, another band on a mission to make everyone’s inner rock-spirit clench with excitement, as they smash back onto the music scene.
The trio formed in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, and is currently sitting on a total of seven studio albums, three of which hit UK Album Chart, reaching top 5 and higher.
Theoretically, Biffy formed in 1995, with front man and guitarist, Simon Neil enlisted drummer, Ben Johnson, before Johnson’s twin brother James was brought in to finish the trio. The three spent the next couple of years finding their feet and flare, practicing, composing and covering other artists’ material, before their first gig as a support act under the name of ‘Skrewfish’. In 1997, the trio moved to Glasgow where they went on to study at university, whilst still pursuing in performing with any spare time they had. Spotted by Dee Bahl, who then went on to be their manager, these young lads were about to get the biggest stepping-stone of their musical careers, to date.
After Biffy’s first three studio albums, their following expanded a significant amount, as they strayed from their discordant and uncommon style, incorporating simpler rhythms mixed into a mainstream melody. In result, their album ‘Puzzle’ peaked at number two on the official Albums Chart in 2007, the album then went gold, selling over a great 100,000 units, before then turning platinum in the UK, in 2012.
Their 2009 album, Only Revolutions, reached no. 3 in the UK Album Chart, proceeding to gold just days after being released. A year later, the album went platinum and Biffy received a nomination for a Mercury Music Prize.
Biffy, known for their hit singles, Mountains and Many of Horror, received an award for Best British Band, at the 201 NME Music Awards.
Supporting the Scottish Singers are punk rockers from the City that never sleeps, who have been compares to the likes of Weezer and The Beach Boys.
Brand New is a band from Long Island, New York, and have successfully made teenage girls scream their vocals to a mute for over a decade, however it’s been a quiet couple of years for these American heartthrobs.
They signed to Triple Crown Records in 2001, with the release of their debut studio album, Your Favourite Weapon following shortly after. Their second album, Deja Entendu, was released in 2003, and marked a “stylistic change” for the rock band, the first two singles from the album both entered the top 40 UK Singles Chart.
Brand New decided to change direction and formed a record label in 2008, called Procrastinate! Music Traitors, with one of their most successful albums, Daisy, being released in 2009, which reached number six on the US Billboard 200.
The band has been working on new, fresh material for some time, and released the single “Mene” in April 2015, followed by “I am a Nightmare” in May 2016, a year later. There’s been a lot of talk about the band breaking up for good, after they released pieces of merchandise with 2000-2018 written on them.
With such dubious messages and signals, perhaps it’s now or never to really, truly embrace the final years of punk pleasure from the foursome.
While Biffy appear to be going from strength to strength, and expand their musical reputation, Brand New are simmering down and are gearing up to go out with a bang.
We can look forward to listening out for new material and merchandise from the boys of Brand New, and bask in the recollection of some of our sweetest teenage memories.