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The Joy Formidable
- Wolf’s Law

Those looking for some jubilant noises and wafting melodies built on top of a grunge-influenced rhythm section, you should find the tracks to your tastes.

James Dawson

Jan 11th 2013 | Label: LookUp/Obese Distribution
On their second album, Wolf's Law, The Joy Formidable maintain the core of what made them initially stand out from their contemporaries on the first album. The band haven't done much in the way of reinventing themselves, however, what was at first a jubilant mixture of melody and gritty guitars has transformed into a sound that seems as if the band picked up old B-sides and reworked them into music that's simply plausible. And while the band's performance remains energetic and fast-paced, the entire album has a sense of being heard somewhere before.

First single, Cholla, is without doubt the album's strongest track; it is a moody, slickly produced number with overdubs aplenty which makes you wonder if the live version would include an increased line-up or sequencers. Similarly, Tendons is overproduced and rehashes old themes for the band, with swelling string sections and overtly fuzzed bass lines.

The Joy Formidable have a definite talent for creating a pop song, but it appears that they might be more well suited in constructing them under a stricter format and leave the rock aside, focusing on the distinct vocals of Ritzy Bryan. Wolf's Law effectively treads the middle ground of being a safe album that would be appealing to a wider audience, with subtle hints that perhaps the band was directed by the record company to 'dull' the creative side of the band down and focus on conservative sounds.

Overall, this album is nothing flash, but for those looking for some jubilant noises and wafting melodies built on top of a grunge-influenced rhythm section, you should find the tracks to your tastes.

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