Release Date: January 22, 2013
Canvasback Music / Atlantic Records; 11 Tracks
Review by: Bianca Marcus
Wolf's Law is the second full-length release from the London-based Welsh trio, formed in 2007*.
The Joy Formidable are a hot band — the platinum-haired, blue-eyed Ritzy Bryan on vocals and guitar, Rhydian Dafydd on bass, Matt Thomas on drums make a striking threesome. Wolf's Law is exciting and unpredictable, with a manically vibrant sound. You'll hear shades of 90's grunge, synth, distorted vocals and a few unexpected moments of softness.
Sounding much like Broken Social Scene, "This Ladder is Ours" features Bryan's strong vocals and a catchy melody. "Cholla" has a triumphant, call-to-action feel with cymbal-heavy drums and crunchy guitar. This is a fresh, retro-meets-modern album; its relentless energy does, however, become overpowering after the first few tracks. "Silent Treatment" is an unexpected break from the rest of the record. It showcases a more organic side of the band with acoustic guitar. Props to the trio for their bold experimentation.
The album's title references a type of experimentation — Wolff's Law is a theory by German anatomist and surgeon Julius Wolff proposing that bone will adapt to the loads that it is made to bear. According to lead singer Ritzy Bryan, "the record chronicles a period of healing and self-discovery." She continues, "this theme of relationships on the mend and feeling reinvigorated is a re-occurring thread." The listener can certainly sense this theme.
The trio were the opening act on Muse's fall 2012 tour, and for good reason — both bands share a dramatic, human-meets-electronic sound. The Joy Formidable will be touring North America in March and April following a string of European dates.