In these days of short attention spans and homogenized musical gunk, it’s reassuring to see the Scottish alt-rockers get within touching distance of the rock summit without sugarcoating their uniquely restless and oddball sound. That said, their fifth album sheds a little of the combustive punk angst of their early years, but their off-center soundscapes, volcanic riffing and knack for an epic chorus remain intact. If there’s been any change, the hairy trio have woven in a few layers of refinement, with an imaginative but restrained use of string and brass, most notably on “Mountain” and “The Captain.” This time round, songwriter Simon Neil’s normally oblique lyrics seem more concerned with exploring his new marital status, but then along comes the album standout: the fierce and addictive “Bubbles”—a timely reminder that beauty and the beast complement each other perfectly in Biffy’s world. C.B. Liddell
From seekers and slackers to strivers and thrivers
Undressing the Japanese lingerie market
The Van Halen icon is hot for sensei
Three top ramen shops on the streets long before Metropolis
Cathryn Moe, astrologer
"Why do you go to peach john...? its targeted at 15 to 25 year olds..."
From: Brief Encounters
From: Jun 7, 2013
"You're a Sag, too, Cathyrn? Maybe that is why the first time I ever ..."
From: Star of Stars
"David Lee Roth here in Tokyo? Best news I've heard in a long time. ..."
From: David Lee Roth