Drive Time music reviews – The Joy Formidable’s “The Big Roar”

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

On Drive Time music reviews today I will review The Joy Formidable’s “The Big Roar.

I reviewed this band on my former blog, but feel compelled to reblog about this incredible band.  Although TJF was formed in Northern Wales, members Ritzy Bryan (vocals and guitar), Rhydian Dafydd (vocals and bass), and Matt Thomas (drums) now call London home.  Since forming in 2007, they have worked heir up the indie ranks and have earned acclaim from Spin, Pitchfork, Dave Grohl, Shirley Manson from Garbage, and others.

The Big Roar

The Big Roar

Although they have released some singles and an EP, “The Big Roar” is the first exposure of the band to the masses. and what a piece of work it is!  The “thing” about TJF that floors me is their sound and the energy behind it.  Bryan, while sounding so innocent at times, such as on the song “Austere”, absolutely shreds on guitar – making any “guitar warriors” with their pinched faces during solos look like complete idiots.  And it just isn’t Bryan – Thomas is phenomenal on drums and Dalydd adds perfect and backing vocals to Bryan’s talents.  Combined together they provide a sounds wave reserved for much larger bands.

Songs like “The Magnifying Glass” displays the energy and power behind the band, while “A Heavy Abacus” raises the bar for the “power ballad”.  Aside for the occasional slow song (“Maruyama”), the raw power and energy of the group is shown throughout the album with songs “Buoy”, Whirring”, and “Austere”.

“A Big Roar” is a joy to listen to and my pick as one of the great albums of 2011.


I included a video of The Joy Formidable playing “Whirring” at SXSW in 2011.  Notice the force and speed Bryan plays at the end of the song – I dare any “guitar hero” to play with such enthusiasm!


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