The Joy Formidable: The Big Roar

Categories: Review Roundup

The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar
​Daylight savings time is over -- not that it matters for Arizonans. Spring is slowly creeping upon us, bringing with it a fresh slate of new releases. The biggest release of this spring will come next week, but for now we have Welsh rock trio The Joy Formidable and their much-anticipated debut album The Big Roar. Led by enigmatic chanteuse Ritzy Bryan, The Joy Formidable bridge together thundering rock music with a pinch of grunge and a light coating of some indie rock, for good measure. 

There has been a palpable lead up to release of The Big Roar -- the band's 2009 A Balloon Called Moaning EP set the blogoshpere ablaze with the band's unique brand of rock music, lead by Bryan's soaring vocals. The Joy Formidable have dates set for this year's Coachella and SXSW music festivals, marking 2011 as the band's breakout year.

What the critics are saying:

Rolling Stone: The Big Roar recycles and magnifies tracks from Joy Formidable's 2009 EP, A Balloon Called Moaning: The multitracked vocal attack of "Austere" is transformed from pub brawl to arena prizefight; "Whirring" gets expanded into a six-minute-plus epic of face-melting, Sonic Youth-ful jamming.

Pitchfork: After a decade that saw Britpop break down into Franz Ferdinandian funk, Arctic Monkeys insolence, and xx-ian austerity, the Joy Formidable project a certain guileless bravado rarely heard since the mid-1990s.

The Guardian: Singer/guitarist Ritzy Bryan seems to feel one of her is nowhere near enough: her guitar tracks are heaped on each other, until the whole edifice is teetering under its own weight, and her voice is layered and treated into a smooth, shiny facade.

NME: It may be an anomaly, but it's essential in showing The Joy Formidable's true ethos. Here, you see, is a band that have ended up sounding stadium-ready by default; their music may be massive but the intentions and emotions beneath it are firmly rooted in the ground.

The Big Roar is out now in the US via Atlantic.

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