If debut album The Big Roar made a dent in the world of music, this latest offering by rights should form a crater upon release. In keeping with the majestic mammal theme, Wolf’s Law is the extraordinary second album from The Joy Formidable.
Austere and Whirring were the big winners from their first record, which somehow only achieved mild success in the UK, having been singled out from an album full to the brim with beautifully written songs that held heaps of promising potential. Comparatively, a little endorsement from fan and Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl, helped the group gain hefty support in the US.
From the off the band’s unique style shines through in the form of skilfully composed lyrics, colossal guitar riffs, smashing drum solos and epic orchestral accompaniment. The headstrong opening tracks demand your attention as the clanging chords of This Ladder Is Ours plunges you headfirst into the jaws of the beast, featuring what we consider to be a truly signature piece of song writing, setting the high standard for the record. Quickly followed by the powerful Cholla to continue the rousing momentum, an empowering sensation of carpe diem becomes fast evident.
Petite powerhouse and poetic wordsmith, front woman Ritzy Bryan stated of this record, “It’s all about the lyrics, the voice and the melody”, and Wolf’s Law well reflects both the impressively insightful nature of her song writing and the marked growth of the trio and their musical confidence, which can be heard through the stylistic variety and lyrical depth of every song.
Silent Treatment sees the band delving back into more emotional territory, exploring the notion of being purposely ignored, something that is likely to strike a chord with all, and consequently becoming the more resilient for it. Slow tempo ballad like songs, whilst familiar territory for the band, still shock you into stillness when they suddenly appear off the back of such pounding songs. To hear Ritzy’s vocals snap from loud and outspoken to delicately contemplative is a pleasant surprise indeed. As previously seen in the likes of Don’t Want To See You Like This on The Big Roar, she has a knack for making painfully accurate, heartbreakingly poignant and on point observations about the cruelty of human nature that will resonate with most listeners,.
Though not completely without fault (The Hurdle and Forest Serenade wash over you without much impact), the album is a true triumph that cleverly showcases the sheer range of this wired Welsh three piece, and highlights how Ritzy, Rhydian and Matt complement each other in every way. Infectious vocals and crashing keys form the backbone of The Leopard And The Lung, whilst Maw Maw Song and Little Blimps will find you, at the very least tapping, if not enthusiastically head banging along.
The Joy Formidable have produced a joyous record inspired by the act of overcoming past relationship woes that will be sure to lift your spirits. So for those with a broken heart and a ‘fuck you’ attitude, Wolf’s Law is for you.
This is one band who really seem to have found their feet and look firmly set to continue walking the musical line for a long time to come.