The story of Biffy Clyro is as romantic as it is archetypal. Three childhood friends from Ayrshire formed a band, delivered three albums of abrasive youthful exuberance and finally cracked the big time when their fourth – 2007’s Puzzle – hit the charts at #2. By the time the promotion of their fifth album Only Revolutions had ceased, they were bona fide stars who could headline festivals, fill arenas and deliver hit singles in an era in which rock bands rarely trouble the charts. With well over a million album sales to their name, no-one would’ve been too surprised to see complacency set in.
Comfort zones are overrated—just ask the five members of the Atlanta-based rock outfit O’Brother. When they decamped from their home turf in early 2013 to take over a rented house on wintry Long Island, the idea wasn’t just to update the hard-edged sound they’d achieved on their debut full-length Garden Window with producer Mike Sapone (known for his work with Brand New, Crime in Stereo, Public Enemy and more). This time out, the band reconvened with Sapone to embark on a mind-expanding journey into strange new territory, lyrically and sonically. All it took was a little inspiration.