Tuesday, 15 February 2011

I wish I'd made this - #2 Who's Got A Match? by Biffy Clyro

I'm sure I wasn't the only person who's ears pricked up instantly on hearing the quirky riff in this track. It demands attention and I still find it very hard to concentrate on anything else whilst it's playing (which is making writing this blog rather tricky as I listen on repeat). But it's not the riff alone that makes this a great track.

By keeping everything stripped back each instrument is given the space to work. The bass is kept very simple, providing just a little underpinning. For a large proportion the guitar plays single notes and where the guitars double up everything is still kept straightforward.

And then there's that riff. I think it was a brave and very wise decision not to throw it right in at the very start of the song. By holding it back it's allowed to introduce a further dimension to the track rather than setting the tone from the start.

This gives the drums a little more breathing room to provide all of the rhythmical interest in the track - take a listen ignoring everything but the drums; they're really rather good!

Things get a little bit louder and looser in the bridge, but you really feel the impact because of the dynamic contrast to the rest of the track.

I think Who's Got A Match? is a textbook example of a minimalist rock arrangement and was one of my reference tracks whilst recording my band's EP. It proves that you don't have to throw the kitchen sink at a song in order for it to come alive. Too many people think you have to create layers and layers of guitars, reverb and delays to make a big rock song. I'm not saying that it can't work that way, just that it's not always necessary.

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