The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar (CD)

A great many of the bands that come from the United Kingdom possess a certain musical pedigree that presents itself audibly during their music. It becomes an easy feat for a great many of these bands to succeed based on this pedigree along, but a special kudos has to go out to any sort of band that looks to break free of this style. I have to contend that The Joy Formidable does this on their latest effort, “The Big Roar”. “The Big Roar” begins with “The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie”, a track that gives listeners a full spectrum of the different sounds and nuances that will ultimately be presented in the whole of “The Big Roar”.

The track’s nearly eight-minute runtime may scare away potential listeners, but the distinct arrangements and virtuosity brought to the track by each of the three members of the band provide enough of the way to the different segments of “The Everchanging Spectrum” to keep listeners firmly buckled in through the entirety of the track. After this full-bodied introduction, the band switches things up for “The Magnifying Glass”. This two-minute power trip marks the band’s other pole. Where a number of the cuts on “The Big Roar” come forth as perfectly polished bits of indie, dreamy pop, some of the album’s other cuts (Chapter 2) take a trek over to a Genesis and early Police styling.

The Joy formidable is able to harness the power of these two distinct styles into the creation of an always-fulfilling type of album. Ending things with “The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade”, the band provides listeners with the evidence that they need that further recordings issued by the band will be at least as compelling and impressive as “The Big Roar”. There are not late-disc chaff tracks, nor are there meaningless meanderings and asides for listeners to sift through – “Te Big Roar” is one of 2011’s best albums so far.

Top Tracks: The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie, I Don’t Want To See You Like This

Rating: 8.0/10

The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar (CD) / 2011 Atlantic / 12 Tracks /

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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