Debut album from a promising Welsh indie band
The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
In The Big Roar, the Joy Formidable have do doubt created a massive indie rock record, one of the most impressive debuts for some time. Guitars clatter and glide with agression and finesse in equal measure as they show they can conjour up a thumping monster riff as easily as a stunning noise-rock progression.
Tracks 2 & 3 highlight this with the former “The Magnifying Glass” with its’s reckless punky feeling and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club slant, with the latter “I Do’t Want To See You Like This” being a vocal driven noise pop epic which rivals any Arcade Fire track for granduer.
It’s this combination of ubiquitous power, exhuberant melody making, noise-pop surrounds which are The Big Roars great strength.
No doubt this huge record is doused in pop with its sweet fuzzy female vocals and big hooks, but it’s when they crank up the feedback and blast out indie-fied hard rock riffs that the true genius of this album appears. Where all the great ideas collide is on “Whirring“, an near 7 minute whirlwind of swirling fuzz, mammoth riffs, infectious chorus and jubilant crecendo’s (The outro is worth praise alone).
Given it’s dreamy like qualities, there is a tendency on occassion for the Joy Formidable to crank up the drama and ramble on a tad too much, leaving lethargy outstaying its welcome.
The Big Roar is one UK press hyped-up release, which worthy of every word of praise it receieves…a rare thing!
Mr Flowers Says:
The monstrous The Everchanging Spectrum Of A Lie that opens The Big Roar is a statement of intent for the indie hype-machine that is The Joy Formidable. Led by the angelic vocals of the brilliantly named Ritzy Bryan, they take that popular wall of sound approach, give it a healthy spoonful of pop and finish it with crashing guitars and symbols.
Following it up with some actual rock-riffage on The Magnifying Glass and the pop gem that is Austere, with it’s lady squeal sound effect, twangy guitar and rolling drums building up to a thudding ending, we might just start to think that some of that hype could be justified.
However, it’s the bits in between the superstars like the indulgent end to Whirring and the drifting Buoy that bring the album down. Sure, they’re quite pretty but those walls of sound soon start to stack into one and another, and without the killer pop hooks you end up with 3 minute rock-outs without the rock. It’s all a bit… unremarkable.
While things pick up with the spectacular Cradle with it’s toe-tapping intro, driving melody and drumming, you get the sense by then that this is an album that, while blessed with some great pop moments, just lacks that bit of bite.
DoesItRock Overall Score: 7.75/10
Listen to The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar now on Spotify!