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The Big Roar CD

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon's The Joy Formidable Store


Image of album by The Joy Formidable


Image of The Joy Formidable


Some things are just meant to be. Thus it was that Ritzy Bryan and Rhydian Dafydd met at school and discovered their shared love of music. The pair, opinionated and deeply in love with the whole idea of being in a band, started to spend time at North Walian music mecca The Buckley Tivoli, gaining inspiration and experience from the procession of touring and local bands ... Read more in Amazon's The Joy Formidable Store

Visit Amazon's The Joy Formidable Store
for 5 albums, 7 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Jan. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,715 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. The Everchanging Spectrum Of A Lie 7:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. The Magnifying Glass 2:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. I Don't Want To See You Like This 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Austere 3:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. A Heavy Abacus 3:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Whirring 6:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Buoy 4:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Maruyama 1:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Cradle 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Llaw = Wall 3:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Chapter 2 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade 5:20£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

Welsh trio The Joy Formidable have been shaping this debut album for years. Current single Austere came out in its original form way back in 2008, and three other songs on The Big Roar have been released in the intervening years. If you want a model for careful, gradual career building, look no further than this lot.

While long-standing fans must be weary from all that waiting, it has proved a wise move for the band, enabling them to tour around the world – using their own funds – and gracefully step up from support slots to headline act. The live show was honed; new songs were written; old songs were perfected. And now the debut album is ready to send them stellar.

The Big Roar is huge: a roller-coaster of an album driven on by urgent, accelerating grunge riffs and punchy pop melodies. The Joy Formidable’s template is simple. They create a basic melody that Ritzy Bryan sings with ethereal majesty, and build it upwards into an irresistible, molten-lava crescendo. As with Muse, it’s almost unthinkable that this band only has three members.

Well aware of their limitations as individuals, they work hard on this debut album to expand upon them, making the sum greater than the parts. Older songs are subtly remixed and extended – Whirring now has an almighty, hair-raising coda; Cradle has a rich new sheen – and the fresh songs bring changes in attitude and tone. On Llaw = Wall, Ritzy steps aside from the microphone so her bandmate Rhydian Dafydd can have a turn; Buoy starts like an eerie xx track and doesn’t get much friendlier as it mushrooms upwards and outwards. Indeed, the second half of The Big Roar is, at times, a chilly, disconcerting listen.

This album’s long gestation period brings some flabbiness too as The Joy Formidable try to add depth: the man’s screams during the intro; the ‘roar’ at the end of Austere; the overlong opening track; the Maruyama interlude. Some pruning could have tightened all this up, especially as the band’s songs speak volumes for themselves. Nevertheless, The Big Roar is a powerful signal of intent and a fantastic debut.

--Mike Haydock

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Huw on 24 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Managed to get my hands on a copy today. Fantastic debut from the Welsh trio. Crashing drums from Matt, pounding bass from Rhydian, and buzzing guitars from Ritzy, as well as the great vocal delivery from the latter two, make one brilliant album. Personal favourites Buoy, The Magnifying Glass and the single I Don't Want To See You Like This are all magnificent both musically and lyrically and fit perfectly with old favourites like Cradle, Whirring and The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade that have been newly mixed and adapted with some new arrangements. Just as striking as they were on first listen. Its not pure perfection but its very close. 9/10 from me but I'll round that up to 5 stars. In short, all you could want from a debut album. Going to see them next week. I wish them success.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R.Cooper on 12 Feb. 2011
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Consisting of Matt (drums), Rhydian (bass & backing vocals), Ritzy (lead/rhythm guitar & lead vocals) are another fine new alternative rock trio. An impressive passionate opening with 'The Everchanging Spectrum Of A Lie' which shows that Ritzy is an excellent vocalist. Then they move more into an energetic Subways punk type offering via 'The Magnifying Glass'. A really melodic track follows 'I Don't Want To See You Like This' which is beautiful & majestic with some solid bass & drums. 'Austere' probably their most famous & another excellent piece, followed by the heavy grinding 'A Heavy Abacus'. Next 'Whirring' is brilliant with a backing synth sounds that fits into the vocal phrasing from Ritzy (though perhaps the ending goes on a bit long but still some good instrumentation that builds up into a fuzzed guitar passion which will blow your speakers out). The moody 'Buoy' follows, with a short interlude in '(Maruyama)' via a beautiful guitar arpeggio over which Ritzy half talks/sings. Serves as an intro to perhaps 2nd highlight 'Cradle' which is stunningly beautiful "I wish the cobwebs would cover me", "My vicious tongue...just cradles one". Next 'Llaw = Wall' has actually Rhydian doing vocal duties on a fairly symphonic affair, with a powerful grunge 'Chapter 2' following "why is the finish now the start...roll the timing back for her". Final number 'The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade' is probably the highlight "This dream is in a telescope now" & is an emotional tour de force from Ritzy. "Fever in bedtime covers go unknown until two eyes out of the darkness bring hope close". As per another reviewer 9/10 & which I'll round up to 5 stars as there are enough brilliant moments here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kas on 21 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Fantastic debut album from Joy Formidable. Big Roar is a great name for the album as the sound really is a "Big Roar", deafening sound, turn the volume right up to really appreciate it. Superm music complimented by Ritzy Bryan's vocals. To see them live is really something else. Ritzy must be the sexyest woman in music and she can really play the guitar.
I have bought the follow up album but am still listening to it, first impressions are once again superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD
While some of these songs have been doing the rounds for a number of years its is a Joy at last to have them all encased on this debut album from our friends in the North (Wales in this case). The Joy Formidable band comprise the delectable Ritzy Bryan - Vocals / guitar, Rhydian Dafydd - Vocals / bass and Matt Thomas - Drums and they are a great addition to the proud tradition of Welsh rock bands who generally make a very big noise and infuse their music with a passion which could fill our national shrine the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Your reviewer saw them supporting the Howling Bells some two years ago and it was clear then that they were a very special prospect indeed as the blew the latter off stage.

Anyone checking out the wonderful "Austere" will not just nod in agreement but be literally pulverised by a wall of sound that echoes Siouxsie and Banshees on "Spellbound" and borrows respectfully from the great Kim Deal in the Pixies. The great "Whirring" has been out for ever but it sounds as fresh today and the extended version of it on the Big Roar reminds me for the first time of a link with Montreal's finest "The Arcade Fire. Things become even more pronounced in this respect on the last track the "The greatest light is the greatest shade" where they not only play the Canadians at their own game they produce a song of such raw power that is simply overwhelming. This album is nevertheless evidence that the whole is the sum of the parts, such as the noise fest that starts off the seven minute plus opener `The Everchanging Spectrum Of A Lie' which develops into a chorus so big it should require planning permission.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eric the Gardener on 25 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD
What a relief! Too often apparently talented new bands appear on the horizon then fail to deliver. TJF deliver on this full-length debut. My fear that The Big Roar would simply be an extended version of A Balloon Called Moaning (magnificent though it was) proved unfounded. A glut of new songs and a reworking of the old make this as fresh as you could hope for.
Shades of My Bloody Valentine, Pixies, Throwing Muses but certainly not looking backwards, TJF have a great future ahead if Ritzy & Rhydian maintain this level of creativity.
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