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The Wolf Cries
on 20 April 2013
The Joy Formidable and their 2011 début The Big Roar was whilst being a bit too, "Big" at times, could also be an enjoyable album as well, with stand-out tracks "Whirring" and "The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade".
So, the band are now onto their second album, which feels too much of the same, and to an extent, less. Album opener "This Ladder Is Ours", runs on for too long, five minutes and eleven seconds. It could easily be cut at three minuets eleven. "Cholla" isn't much more of an improvement. The riff is set up, the whole song, is set up to be catchy, to be a single, and it just doesn't do anything for me. If anything, the album so far has annoyed me by being underwhelming. Their first album had elements of Shoegaze, of which I am struggling to find on this album, if there even is any. It feels like a step backwards because their sound is still similar to the first album. Indie/Alt Rock with a female lead singer that just isn't as overblown in the same way. It's overblown in a way where I feel like the band is trying too hard.
There are some good elements to the record. I like the beginning of third track "Tendons" and "Silent Treatment" reminds me a bit of The Naked and Famous' E.P's. The problem is that there are no long tracks done well like they had done so well on "The Big Roar". There is "Maw Maw Song" which has a nice electronic feeling to it that slowly looses itself over the six minuets, but compared to rest of the album so far, it's a highlight that can be enjoyed.
Nothing on the album feels special, the band seem caught up in an idea and haven't fulfilled themselves, the are lacking in something wow, they fail to really stand out on this album and surprise you. "Forest Serenade" sounds like more of the same, with a little "Blood Red Shoes" vibe on it.
I did enjoy six minute long track "The Leopard and the Lung" which feels like a small nudge forward, it still feels like it would sit really nicely on The Big Roar though, and I feel that whilst it's good, it feel lonely on Wolf's Law.
The Joy Formidable fail to excite with this fifty minuets, it drags on and there is no real fireworks in the eleven tracks from this Welsh trio. It feel limp and unimpressive, a real disappointment.