The hardest-rocking trio to emerge from Wales, the Joy Formidable has drowned out any lingering UK press buzz with chemistry and guitar spazz-outs that make Glenn Branca look like Julian Bream. For its debut album, The Big Roar, the band labored over twelve songs until predictable elements — dense guitar sheets à la My Bloody Valentine and waifish vocals — bled beautifully with melodies that echo the likes of Elastica. When Ritzy Bryan sings, "This is the past right here, I choose to leave it here," she sounds heedless of any '90s alt-rock hangover. The Big Roar is finely orchestrated; the trio's live sets are not. The band submits to savage punk urges with a joy found in noise, spontaneity and abandonment that is as thrilling as live rock & roll can ever hope to be.
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