The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law (2013)



01. This Ladder Is Ours
02. Cholla
03. Tendons
04. Little Blimp
05. Bats
06. Silent Treatment
07. Maw Maw Song
08. Forest Serenade
09. The Leopard & The Lung
10. The Hurdle
11. The Turnaround


It literally was a Big Roar that was released by welsh trio THE JOY FORMIDABLE in 2011. So called, the debut by charming, guitar-shredding singer Ritzy Bryan and her two compagnons established a remarkable sound, dominated by cheerful pop, tightly bruised in between huge walls of sound that are reminiscent of shoegaze and metal at the same time. With Wolf’s Law, the band’s second attempt, THE JOY FORMIDABLE obviously act out the experiences they gathered from supporting british stadium-giants MUSE on their tour.

Undoubtedly, the heroic rock music of this threesome has the ability to enter the really big stages. Archaic roughness, paired with an uplifting, yet soothing voice and more than anything else: a great sense for dynamics and melody – those are the cornerstones of THE JOY FORMIDABLE strength and because they know, what they can rely on, Wolf’s Law brings all of those back in the game, by just adding a bit more bombast to the formula. Opener This Ladder Is Ours leaves no doubt on the album’s ambition: an orchestral intro, leading into one of those catchy guitar-parts we’re all so familiar with since The Big Roar. Driven by the powerful drums of Matt Thomas and the fuzzy bass of Rhydian Dafydd, it takes just a few seconds, to wonder once again, how these three guys manage to sound like a 10-piece prog-formation from time to time.

Foremost it’s the trippy Maw Maw Song that enthralls the listener by it’s sheer complexity in a six minute-format: psychedelic, meandering melodies that are bouncing off euphoric choruses just to be crunched in a huge fuzz-spree. This may be THE JOY FORMIDABLE‘s contribution to the Handbook of Credibility. In contrast to other formations, they somehow managed to maintain their unpredictable heavyness and lifted it to an even more accessible level, avoiding the danger of entering the hollowness of Cheese-Town. Even though there are some non-memorable moments, they still fit into the overall frame of variety.

Wolf’s Law, referring to the theory, that human bones adjust to the burden put onto them, is nothing but an astonishing approvement of the band’s aspiration for original, sincere anthems, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Let’s see how far they can get from here on and meanwhile: hands-down, this is an uplifting celebration of guitar-driven rock music.

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alternative / rock
from London, UK