Although emo is often thought of as a direct descendent of punk and alternative, the genre's tricky song structures oftentimes teeter toward prog territory. Case in point: Puzzle, the fourth full-length by Ayrshire, Scotland's favorite sons, Biffy Clyro. While the riffs and singalong choruses bear a resemblance to Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, it's no secret that the members of this trio obviously know the ins and outs of their respective instruments -- this is certainly not the sound of a band still finding its footing. "Saturday Superhouse" somehow manages to not sound far removed from all the fresh-faced MTV darlings, while also including enough interesting bits to not sound like a mere mainstream rock rehash. Harder to pin down tracks such as "Who's Got a Match?" bring to mind the quirky pop of Supergrass, and "Semi-Mental" is comparable to Weezer -- if they spent more time studying their Rush records instead of Cheap Trick ones. Released in the U.K. several months ahead of the U.S., Puzzle already has a head start in the buzz sweepstakes -- it's a certified smash overseas (nearly topping the album charts at number two, while "Saturday Superhouse" almost reached the Top Ten on the singles charts).
by Greg Prato