Music News

The Joy Formidable: The Big Roar


There has been a palpable lead up to release of The Big Roar -- the band's 2009 A Balloon Called Moaning EP set the blogoshpere ablaze with the band's unique brand of rock music, lead by Bryan's soaring vocals. The Joy Formidable have dates set for this year's Coachella and SXSW music festivals, marking 2011 as the band's breakout year.

What the critics are saying:

Rolling Stone: The Big Roar recycles and magnifies tracks from Joy Formidable's 2009 EP, A Balloon Called Moaning: The multitracked vocal attack of "Austere" is transformed from pub brawl to arena prizefight; "Whirring" gets expanded into a six-minute-plus epic of face-melting, Sonic Youth-ful jamming.

Pitchfork: After a decade that saw Britpop break down into Franz Ferdinandian funk, Arctic Monkeys insolence, and xx-ian austerity, the Joy Formidable project a certain guileless bravado rarely heard since the mid-1990s.

The Guardian: Singer/guitarist Ritzy Bryan seems to feel one of her is nowhere near enough: her guitar tracks are heaped on each other, until the whole edifice is teetering under its own weight, and her voice is layered and treated into a smooth, shiny facade.

NME: It may be an anomaly, but it's essential in showing The Joy Formidable's true ethos. Here, you see, is a band that have ended up sounding stadium-ready by default; their music may be massive but the intentions and emotions beneath it are firmly rooted in the ground.

The Big Roar is out now in the US via Atlantic.

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Michael Lopez