THE JOY FORMIDABLE – ‘Wolf’s Law’

joy formidableTHE JOY FORMIDABLE – ‘Wolf’s Law’
Sometimes it feels like a band has been around for years, when adulation for their debut continues long after its release.  And when this Welsh trio unleashed The Big Roar in 2011, few were surprised by its success but the longevity they’ve enjoyed since must have surprised many; particularly given the competition for places in this space.  So with the release of the eagerly anticipated follow up, it shouldn’t be forgotten the current line-up of vocalist Ritzy Bryan, drummer Matt Thomas and bassist Rhydian Daffyd has only been together for a little over 3 years.  Still, if this is immaturity then it’s the perfect kind, with walls of impeccable alternative pop-rock that continues to dazzle.  As follow ups go Wolf’s Law retains a lot of Big Roar’s DNA; Bryan’s dreamy vocal floating effortlessly over Pumpkins-esque guitars and stadium-sized choruses, all embellished with rich synth and galloping percussion.  Opener ‘This Ladder Is Ours’, ‘Little Blimp’ and the euphoria coursing through ‘The Leopard And The lung’ clearly show they’re on top of their game and but for the slightly irritating ‘Maw Maw Song’, we could be witnessing one of the first great records of the year.  Self-produced and mixed by Andy Wallace, it will probably end up being so as few can match the British drama of ‘Bats’ and ‘Forest Serenade’; the subtle acoustic appreciations on ‘Silent Treatment’ or the grace and poise of ‘The Hurdle’.  Much can be said for near perfection and if you loved the debut you’ll love this – equally contemporary sounds of the rootsiest kind.  (8)
STEVE FLETCHER

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