Best new release: The Joy Formidable debuts with ‘The Big Roar’
Listening to the The Joy Formidable is like taking a trip back to the early to mid-’90s when bands like The Breeders were suddenly “big.” Up and down tempos climax with bombastic sonic blasts. The Breeders’ Kim Deal lifted the template from her former band the Pixies, which influenced scores of bands that decade (most notably Nirvana).
Wales-based Joy Formidable takes the Breeders template and spiffs it up on The Big Roar (out in the U.S. on Tuesday). In parts, it’s a little too slick. Nonetheless, it’s addictive and one of my favorite album releases so far this year. It’s not entirely new. Four of the albums songs appeared on the 2010 EP A Balloon Called Moaning. Those four songs — The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade, Cradle, Austere and Whirring — also happen to be the best tracks on the new album.
The style isn’t entirely new either. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Elastica and others copped the same sound. But it’s working for me.