The Joy Formidable - Austere (Atlantic Records/Canvasback)
January 17th, 2011
Those of you who were students at the University of Manchester around the middle of the previous decade may remember a band called Tricky Nixon. They played In The City one year and supported Kaiser Chiefs once or twice. They were OK. Well, to cut a long story short, Tricky Nixon begat Sidecar Kisses, who spawned The Joy Formidable, who are more than OK. In fact, they've released the first very good indie-rock song of the year so far.
Ritzy Bryan's dizzying opening howl is soon steadied by a good old-fashioned rumbling bassline and minimalistic drumming. It's one of those songs where less is more. For those of you who aren't fans of high-pitched howling, you'll be glad to know that Bryan's true vocal tone is delicious, a heady mix of Karen O and Cerys Matthews. The guitars straddle the gap between scuzzy and stadium, and the production is excellent (a tip of the hat to you, Rich 'Muse, Interpol, Franz Ferdinand' Costey).
words: Kate Goodacre
The Joy Formidable release their debut album The Big Roar on January 24th, 2011. UK shows are as follows, The Borderline, London (Jan 29, sold out), Old Fire Station, Bournemouth (Feb 1), Thekla, Bristol (2), Academy 2, Birmingham (3), Club Academy, Manchester (4), King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow (6), Electric Circus, Edinburgh (7), O2 Academy 2, Newcastle (8), Cockpit, Leeds (9), The Plug, Sheffield (11), St Paul's Church, Cambridge (12), Academy 2, Leicester (13) and Koko, London (14).