The Joy Formidable are not just one of the UK's best emerging bands in recent years. Consisting of Ritzy Brian, Rhydian Dafydd and Matt Thomas, The Joy Formidable is quickly establishing itself as one of the most exciting bands in modern rock. After making critics sit up and take notice with their thrilling debut album, The Big Roar, they have returned with second album, Wolf's Law, which carries on their renowned cinemascape sound that could easily fill the beautiful valleys of their homeland.
What makes The Joy Formidable so good is how the band has reinvigorated a guitar driven sound rarely heard on mainstream radio since the alt rock bands of the nineties.
As mainstream music shows no sign of slowing down in its disposability, this band are one of the few coming into the public consciousness who are taking music back to being an art form.
Wolf's Law begins with lead-off single, This Ladder Is Ours. The song features a sumptuous string opening that ends when Brian, Dafydd and Thomas smash through the door with guitar, bass and drums all fighting for your attention.
One of the stand-out tracks on Wolf's Law is Bats. Brian has never sounded cooler as she delivers a scuzzy howl rip through the stereo speakers. Of all the tracks on the album, Bats probably has the most straight up rock arrangement. While creating plenty more calling cards for their heavy alt rock sound, Bats contrasts with the more delicate Silent Treatment. Ritzy Brian shows off a more gentle side to her voice which is a welcome momentary lull from the band in full attack mode.
Once the lull is over, the album moves on to perhaps its most bombastic sounding track.
The Maw Maw song features a guitar solo you would normally expect to hear performed by Tom Morello on a Rage Against The Machine album.
A fair reflection on Wolf's Law would be to say that although the band's sound is recognisable, a level of refinement on the sound and more focus on production can be heard all the way through. Sure, there are moments on the album when there is a slight wobble, but these wobbles are still better than some other bands' stellar material.
If The Big Roar was an introduction to The Joy Formidable, Wolf's Law is a strong statement of intent. Although it probably won't have as much of an impact compared to their initial debut, this album alludes to what is to come from the band. At this steady rate of ascent, one can only get excited about The Joy Formidable's potential.
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