The Joy Formidable / Wolf’s Law / Review
Read it on Chasseur Magazine Issue 4
After “The Big Roar” they had back in 2011 with their debut album, the Welsh trio comes back after supporting Muse on tour with “Wolf’s Law”, an album rich in alternative rock music and titled after the scientific theory of Julius Wolff according to which the bones of our body become stronger in response to stress as a form to adaptation.
How is the band adapting to this new adventure? Using guitar-pop melodies to make each track accessible before storming out with a heavy rock production, sometimes distracting us from the dreamy voice of Ritzy Bryan, sometimes making it sound rebellious and anarchic. The intro of opener and single “This Ladder is Ours” may be delicate but soon enough the real intention behind the album is revealed: it wants to make the speakers blow.
Members Rhydian Dafydd and Matt Thomas keep the pace up as strongly as possible, they sound fantastic and they are vital to the narration of The Joy Formidable’s lyrics about relationships on the mend and ultimately their reinvigoration. Sometimes “Wolf’s Law” steps too much into the borders of metal but it never loses its youthful and fragile attitude that makes retro elements and arrangements sound modern and enjoyable.
Unafraid and unapologetic in its quest for freedom, like in the single “Cholla” and “Maw Maw Song”, but also classy and polished when employing some acoustic and subtle touches in “Silent Treatment” and closer “The Turnaround”. They add up to this powerful and relateable album and even though it sounds excessive at times, after all, “We always write what’s close to our hearts” they say, “every lyric on this album means something – the same as the last record.” and this is formidable.