The Joy Formidable
The Big Roar


4.5
superb

Review

by GulliKyro USER (8 Reviews)
January 21st, 2011 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Musical Howitzers

The area of loud is a tricky beast to pin down. You could go the tried and trusted death/hypersonic/global cataclysm metal route but this can often be a fool’s errand of noise that quickly ceases to be effective against all but the most socially inept individuals who will bore you to attempted suicide going on about some obscure group from upper Norway that has an angry walrus as a drummer. It’s the cul de sac of desensitised repetition that one should avoid. The route of copious reverb and layer upon layer of guitar tracks however can reap rich rewards, don’t be to derivative though or you’ll end up sounding like a wannabe Bloody Valentine shoegaze outfit with all the originality of a bottle of coke in a coke factory. Hit the sweet spot and you’ll get The Joy Formidable, female vocals with a delicate fragility coupled to an overall sound that will register on the Richter scale.

A mixture of the best of the group’s tracks culled from mini album “A Balloon called Moaning” and dashings of new output “The Big Roar” certainly cannot be expecting a hearing in front of the false advertising committee anytime soon. The opening track even begins on a note of clanging doors and misfiring engine sounds just in case you were lured into expecting nothing but the most antiseptic of affairs. Ritzy Bryan wails almost mournfully over a continuous sonic assault of feedback and distortion and although some tracks like the opener or indeed the extended “Whirring” could do with some pruning shears you’ll happily forgive it when push comes to shove.

Indeed it’s this constant hurry along attitude that is essential to the albums success and its absence in the albums single clunker Llaw=Wall makes the song an almost unlistenable example of the worse tendencies of introspective self pitying English rock. It does pick up near the end but the damage has already been done and if you have any sense you’ll be skipping it in future listens. On the other end of the spectrum is “The Magnifying Glass” which sees’s the group stripped down to a grunge infused 2 ½ minute blast. It’s a sign that cacophonous enjoyment is something this band can deliver in more than one form

If you have already fallen in love with the mini album then the fact you don’t get more new songs to enjoy can be a slight disappointment but even the older numbers get a reworking either in production or structure. For people who have yet to check the group out a wondrous wall of noise awaits. If they don’t fulfil your needs then I’m unsure what else could, a MILAN anti-tank weapon going off in your face maybe but I wouldn’t recommend it.



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user ratings (141)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Ali CONTRIBUTOR (4)
An impressive full length which will inevitably be one of the year's strongest debuts....


Comments:Add a Comment 
GulliKyro
January 21st 2011


357 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Stuff comes out on a Friday in Ireland in case anybody thinks this is an early review.

Tyrael
January 21st 2011


20885 Comments


Interesting, I quite enjoyed their EP, I have to check this out. Well done.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

DoubtGin
January 21st 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this looks pretty awesome, will check out

have a pos

duckpride82
January 27th 2011


215 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can't wait. When does this come out in America?

letsgofishing
March 7th 2011


902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listening to this right now.

It's great

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

‘The Big Roar’ is an apt title for the debut LP from The Joy Formidable. Like a history lesson in alt-rock, this takes in genres such as shoegaze & grunge, as fuzzy, distorted guitars produce a loud wall of noise. The secret ingredient are some killer melodies that incorporate an anthemic arena-rock aesthetic. Ambitious, mature & confident, ‘The Big Roar’ may be a little front-loaded & overlong, but is a winner from start to finish. And while 4 older tracks have been reworked, the extended coda of ‘Whirring’ now makes it a song of the year contender! Recommended Tracks: Whirring, Cradle, I Don’t Want to See You Like This & The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie.

DallyLama
May 3rd 2011


1074 Comments


bleh. very lame shit here. i bought the album and i totally regret it. its like lame sonic youth or something.. and its pretty damn annoying too.

Knott-
Emeritus
May 13th 2011


10197 Comments


this is so good

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2011


7343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still in my top 5 this year

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still in my top 3 this year... But I've heard less 2011 albums than most around here.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2011


7343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If it didn't have a few weaker songs towards the end this would probably be top for me.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really like tracks 9, 11 & 12... although 2 of them have been heard before.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2011


7343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Everchanging Spectrum, Austere, A Heavy Abacus, Whirring, Cradle and The Greatest Light are all amazing.

guttermoth
May 31st 2011


11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album made me happy. Very Sonic Youth esque..minus the fact it's not extremely noisy or influential. For now. :-)

JWT155
December 3rd 2011


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Band rules.

Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

JWT155
December 3rd 2011


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this. Gives me Smashing Pumpkins/My Bloody Valentine vibes through the dronish/shoegazy guitar work and I love the lead singer's voice, she's pretty cute too.

JWT155
December 3rd 2011


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album has such a grandiose sound.

Activista anti-MTV
December 4th 2011


3144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Love this band

Activista anti-MTV
February 28th 2012


3144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I 2nd BigBoy

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2012


7397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album's awesome. I should've given it a spin earlier.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus



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