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Wolf's Law

4.6 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Jan. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ATLANTIC
  • ASIN: B00A40MH3O
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,864 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. This Ladder Is Ours
  2. Cholla
  3. Tendons
  4. Little Blimp
  5. Bats
  6. Silent Treatment
  7. Maw Maw Song
  8. Forest Serenade
  9. The Leopard And The Lung
  10. The Hurdle
  11. The Turnaround

Product Description

Product Description

Wolf's Law is the second studio album from Welsh indie-rock outfit The Joy Formidable, and the first since they signed to a major label.

BBC Review

Wolf’s Law suggests that, however hefty a burden is placed upon our bones, they’ll adjust accordingly to support the load.

And it’s unsurprising that The Joy Formidable have become keen enough believers in the theorem to appropriate it for the title of their second album. If 2011 debut The Big Roar had them pegged as promotion-pushers to rock’s big leagues, patronage from Dave Grohl and support slots with Muse last year must have placed a stadium-sized weight on their skeletons.

Little wonder, then, that Wolf’s Law often finds frontwoman Ritzy Bryan in the midst of existential crisis or bouts of introspective soul-searching.

“Let’s sit and talk and slow things down / Just be our old selves again finally,” she pleads on opener This Ladder Is Ours.

But for all the talk of hankering for safer past climes, there’s scant nervousness to be found in the orchestration: gorgeously classy strings take on the slightest of nightmarish hues, before a whiplash of riffs comes crashing down.

It’s this tightrope between bruised self-doubt and fun blasts of noise that gives Wolf’s Law its emotional heft; a seesaw of seeking salvation and receiving it courtesy of cathartic anthems.

Cholla sees Bryan ask, “What are we doing? Where are we going?” But the boisterous thwack ’n’ thrash turns the chorus into something euphoric rather than moribund.

On Bats, her fretting of “I had a reason, but the reason went away” is given a shot of adrenaline by the bonkers, snot-nosed backing. And while Tendons postures as a love song, it’s as sleazy as it is starry-eyed due to its scuzzy, positively filthy bassline.

Odd spots see them descend into tedium, such as the anaemic balladry of Silent Treatment.

But the genuinely bonkers Maw Maw Song is so brilliant that other dreary transgressions can be forgiven. It’s a meandering beast that encompasses Led Zeppelin-shaped wig-outs, prog-rock detours and a gloriously dumb chorus while Bryan shrieks like a rock priestess over the course of seven minutes.

That track’s a testament to The Joy Formidable’s conviction that having stadium-sized ambitions doesn’t have to neuter your originality. Whatever’s thrown at them next, their bones are unlikely to buckle under the pressure.

--Ben Hewitt

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I know it, I'm getting old and jaded, and sometimes I wonder why I keep buying new music when I'm often disappointed and go back to the old favourites.
Then just as I'm about to reach back in to the 70's AGAIN, along comes an album like Wolf's law, and it lifts your heart.
Takes a lot to grab me first up, but this really is a cracker.
I'm not in to writing track by track reviews, it's all about whether the whole album works for me, and it does, the whole way through, finishing on a joyful chorus of strings and a soaring voice.
Not sure who to compare these guys to: a bit of Mostly Autumn, some Porcupine Tree.
All I know is I'll be looking forward to whatever they release next, and may well still have Wolf's Law in the CD player when they do.
BUY IT.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There's a little bit more polish here than on The Big Roar, though I love both. The Joy Formidable is that crossover between rock and alternative, not afraid to do something a little different, but beneath it all there's a lot of passion and power. My favorite tracks on this album are "This Ladder Is Ours," "Cholla," "The Leopard and the Lung," and "Wolf's Law," the hidden last track. I will say I hate the "hidden" tracks on CDs. That's kind of played out about 10 years ago. It would be nice just to punch that one up and listen to it whenever without having to wait through the dead air. But it's a great song (and really cool video on YouTube).

There are no dead spots here and this CD has been in my computer for really the better part of the year. I listen to it regularly yet it's all still fresh. I can't say I understand the artwork in the CD booklet, but aside from that I can find nothing to fault here. Love TJF.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After their excellent debut, Wolf's Law marks a more consolidated sound from Joy Formidable - a lot of the songs on here are more accessible than the joyously experimental 'Big Roar' was, but again the strength of songwriting craft, love of big blowouts and sheer noise that the trio conjure up more than makes up for the dialled down eclectism. There's a sense of fun here - a band with their feet on the ground after a great couple of years and plenty of ideas waiting to be tapped into.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Superb follow-up album showing off the songwriting and unique sound of The Joy Formidable. Cryptic and obtuse lyrics abound, with heartening and lively bass and guitar rifts supported by superb drumming. 1 or 2 songs are perhaps longer than they should be, and 1 or 2 lose they way a bit. However 80% is just pure brilliance and always fills me with positivity and energy during and immediately after listening. And The Joy Formidable are really really worth seeing live! Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album has grown from thier first release. If you want to really feel the changes and expeirience this properly. See this band live. I saw them recently and I thought the "show" was the best I have seen for many years. It bought the music to life with raw energy and thumping waqll of sound. I wish them all the success they deserve (but I also hope it doesn't spoil them too). If you liked the first album you'll love this one. Only complaint I'm not sure about the last track yet!
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I can only really think of Slowdive and Ride sounding anything close to this. This Welsh 3 piece have stepped up the pace by making a very polished Indie album, with a distinctive female vocalist and a fantastic collection of self composed tracks that could see the band raise their profile and break America.
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'This Ladder Is Ours' (the opening track) is the best that they've done so far! Inventive energetic melodic, a great sand sorry sound blast, life affirming & the most inspiring beautiful number heard since The Jezabels 'So Hard' which is saying something. Well how are they going to follow that (sic) step. Do they need to? No they don't. In any case let's give the rest a go. 'Cholla' is more of a noise blitz & doesn't do so much for these ears even if Ritzy injects interesting bits & guts into it & there are some imaginative abrupt time changes. More tender is 'Tendons' which is a fine experience "careful of the night" with all out guitars & even includes some harp. 'Little Blimp' has a slightly different sound via riveting bass & is quite OK. 'Bats' is a slightly uncomfortable metallic affair "I had a reason but it went away" where they go in for one of their extended ending onslaughts. 'Silent Treatment' is a gentle acoustic guitar number "it is all you'll get from me" and adds a quiet relief & variation. Via a Japanese sounding start (a harp) the 'Maw Maw Song' then excitedly thunders along, whereupon it suddenly changes & strangely sounds like The World Of Oz's 'The Hum Gum Tree' (an obscure 60s track), then eventually seems to head in the direction of present day Muse with all out guitar pyrotechnics. Don't really get this but somehow this strange mixture seems to work. 'Forest Serenade' is a nice extension of the melody & energy of 'Ladder' "don't be the hand that takes lulls my forest serenade" and is more excellence. 'The Leopard & The Lung' with some fast piano trilling is more of a noisy electronica fuzz fest but then moves into gentleness with vocals provide by both Rhydian & Ritzy and becomes quite euphoric & anthemic.Read more ›
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